University Of Pennsylvania Launches 'Task Force On A Safe And Responsible Campus Community'


The University of Pennsylvania has officially launched the "Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community." The group was organized after a sexist email was sent to freshmen by an off-campus organization.

In its official website, UPenn announced that President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price have formally charged the Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community last Feb. 2. The initiative is intended to develop a collective understanding of how to promote a respectful and healthy campus environment.

The Task Force is a response to public concerns about sexist discrimination by students and groups. This is the type of behavior that damages the campus community and promotes a culture of sexism. The group will be having campus conversations and meet together to discuss as well as create recommendations for the President and Provost. Their work will end in April this year.

Students and members of the community are also encouraged to submit their recommendations and comment through the Task Force website. The group is led by Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for University Life, Maureen Rush, Vice President for Public Safety, Superintendent of Penn Police, and Dr. Beth Winkelstein, Vice Provost for Education.

According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the project was announced last November after a sexually exploitative email was sent to freshmen by OZ, an off-campus organization. The group will also be holding unaffiliated and unsupervised groups accountable for violations of the University policy.

McCoullum will lead a group that focuses on how to fight sexual harassment, alcohol abuse as well as other violations of the school's Code of Conduct. Winkelstein and Rush will each lead a group that will study student awareness of the Code of Conduct and how the violations are addressed, respectively.

A creepy email with the subject line "Wild Wednesday," was distributed to an undisclosed list of recipients on Aug. 31. The invitation included a poem that encourages female students to "please wear something tight."

It was then posted on fliers that were taped to the school's iconic "LOVE" statue. One group also placed it on bulletin boards to warn freshman girls.

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