Sexual Misconduct: Intervention And Prevention At UW


A bulletin board outside the Stop Violence office
Credit Tennessee Watson


#metoo started flooding social media following the news about film producer Harvey Weinstein. That campaign has extended beyond women in Hollywood  inspiring millions of people to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. And it's raised questions about how best to respond to allegations in the workplace. Similar conversations were instigated in 2011 when the Obama Administration released new Title IX guidelines instructing K-12 schools, colleges and universities to expand sexual violence prevention and response efforts.  


Over the last few months, Wyoming Public Radio has been investigating what happens when students come forward at the University of Wyoming. In this series, we've examined inconsistencies in how UW responds, and what that means for alleged victims and perpetrators. We also looked at the potential impact of new guidelines to be issued under U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.   

Part 1: UW Under Federal Investigation For Handling Of Sexual Assault

Part 2: When Campus Rape Prevention Starts Before College

Part 3: Sexual Assault Survivor Wishes UW Paid Attention

Part 4: Lawyer Says Inconsistent Process Hurts Accusers And Accused

Part 5: Survivors Want UW To Tighten Cracks In Sexual Assault Response

Part 6: Sexual Assaults At UW Higher Than What's Officially Reported


Tennessee Watson

Over the last year, Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson put together an award-winning series on sexual assault at the University of Wyoming. Watson’s conversations with students revealed confusion about the reporting process and uncertainty about the university’s willingness to take action. This spring UW conducted a campus climate survey to get a better handle on the prevalence of sexual violence and what happens in its aftermath. She sat down with UW President Laurie Nichols at her office to discuss the survey, the results and what's next.

University of Wyoming NO MORE

The #metoo movement might have given the impression that disclosures of sexual violence are more out in the open. But Matt Gray, a clinical psychology professor, says in actuality very few survivors officially report what they’ve experienced, and that’s true at the University of Wyoming as well. Tennessee Watson spoke with Professor Gray, who recently completed a campus climate survey looking at the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus.

Q. Quallen rock climbing
Q. Quallen

On a Sunday evening, Q. Quallen worked off some stress at the University of Wyoming rock climbing gym. The senior, double majoring in wildlife and natural resources, has had a rough past year.

“When I’m climbing, it’s like a puzzle that I have to solve,” said Quallen. “It’s the only thing that actually distracts me enough right now.”

Quallen focused on moving up the vertical wall one tiny, fake rock at a time; just his fingertips and toes making contact.

Tennessee Watson

Both private and public institutions are bound by federal law to respond to reports of sexual harassment and abuse. In the workplace, it’s Title 7. In educational settings, it’s Title 9. But this fall the U.S. Department of Education announced it plans to overhaul the guideline. In response, UW law students organized a panel of university administrators to discuss potential changes. A Laramie attorney — who has represented a student facing sexual misconduct violations — spoke out at the event.

University of Wyoming

#metoo started flooding social media following the news about film producer Harvey Weinstein. Now the campaign has extended beyond women in Hollywood  inspiring millions of people to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. But what happens when students come forward at the University of Wyoming? This is the third story in a series looking at Title IX and schools responsibility to respond to sexual misconduct.

Tennessee Watson

In August we reported on a University of Wyoming student who filed a Title IX complaint with the federal government about the handling of her sexual assault. Since then Education Secretary Betsy Devos initiated an overhaul of the Title IX guidelines, bringing concern about higher education’s handling of sexual violence to national attention.

Tennessee Watson

On July 6, 2017, the University of Wyoming came under federal investigation for its handling of reports of sexual violence made last year. The student who filed the complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said she came forward with the hope of strengthening the university’s policies and procedures.