NIU to review sexual assault services by mid-month

By Nina Gougis

NIU students could expect new programs to raise awareness of sexual assault as early as this spring, university officials said.

The senior staff of NIU Student Affairs will conduct an in-depth audit of present anti-sexual assault programs to determine if new ones are needed, said Brian Hemphill, NIU vice president for Student Affairs.

Hemphill will present the audit’s results by Dec. 17, when he then will determine if new programs will be added, he said.

These efforts were in response to recent sexual assault cases, Hemphill said, and were meant to help raise awareness on how to prevent sexual assault.

In October, three NIU students were arrested for sexual crimes within one week. Trevor Zumwalt, 18, and Silas Caldwell, 18, were charged with criminal sexual assault. The third, Steven McIntyre, 20, was charged with criminal sexual abuse.

If found guilty, all three could be expelled from NIU.

Hemphill said programs that educate students about sexual assault could help prevent them from happening.

“The goal is to ensure people are aware of the decisions they make and the impact they can have on their lives,” Hemphill said.

Hemphill said many additions may focus primarily on first-year students because such incidences are more common among them.

Any changes in current programs or additional programs could begin as early as the beginning of next semester, he said.