Dr. David Soltz, President of Bloomsburg University, released the following statement to the BU community in light of the recent events at Penn State. In the letter Dr. Soltz orders of review of all BU policies related to sexual abuse and harassment.
We are all deeply concerned about the handling of the allegations of sexual abuse/sexual assault of minor children by a former Penn State coach. Therefore, I am immediately instituting a full review of the following policies and procedures (including reporting requirements, where reports can be made, how reports are made, etc.) at BU:
Abuse, sexual and otherwise
Unwanted sexual activity
Illegal activity, such as child pornography
If you see, hear about or know about possible child abuse on our campus, please immediately contact University Police at (570) 389-4168. After making this phone call, inform your immediate supervisor who in turn will contact his/her respective vice president. These individuals will also immediately contact University Police. What is essential is that university police are notified immediately. Nothing is more important that the health and safety of all members of the Bloomsburg University community and visitors to our campus, particularly children.
— David L. Soltz, President
3 thoughts on “President Soltz Institutes Full Review of BU Sexual Abuse and Harassment Policies”
It’s state law that anyone working with children (zero to 18 years of age) gets a background check by state police. That goes for university students like team members who are teaching kids. How about those university tennis team students, they instruct kids for the FREE tennis program. Do they get background checks??
I applaud Dr. Soltz’s remarks and posture on the sexual assault. I would like to add a few brief comments on the issue of sexual assault and harassment whether it involves a minor or a student, faculty or staff or an adult visitor to our campus.
As a former University employee and Director of Counseling at BU I was actively involved early in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s in the issues of abuse particularly with our students. I was insturmental in penning the first sexual harassment and student harassment polices to be put on the books for BU and the state system. I can’t tell you the strong opposition we faced to get these polices on the books so victims could come forward within the institution to get relief.
Outside intervention was nearly if impossible to get to happen. With that said, in a real world, just telling people to contact University police is not enough. The instiution has to demonstrate that the people receiving these emergency calls and the people they report to within campus security are prepared and sensitive enough to respond.
Also, vice presidents MUST BE SECURE enough not to feel threatened about their leadership if the individual identified is under their leadership. Too many times over my career did I face my own institution and my own colleagues as the problem rather than as the solution for the student I was advocating for.
Defining what goes on inside the University whether it is on property or with employees as the perpetator to the outside legal system was and still seems to be a big issue for many who are faced with these situations. It is not easy BUT anyone who is entrusted with any position of power within the University must err on the side of morality and committment to protect the less empowered whether they are children, students, staffs and visitors to our campus.
I remember kicking the door of my superiors just to be heard at the end of the day…I needed them to know what I knew and what I knew needed to be followed through on. I have never regreted what I tried to do to make a difference. I think Joe right now wishes he had kicked the door of his superiors just one more time or a little bit louder.