Strengthening sexual misconduct prevention and response

Dear Campus Community,

As I have said before, I want UNCSA to be a place where being the best artist you can be is not mutually exclusive from becoming your best self. And I want UNCSA to be a leader in developing industrywide changes that focus on putting the well-being of artists first. This is why we have made Health and Wellness one of the core strategies of our new strategic plan, UNCSA Forward.

Student safety must be the baseline for any plan to enhance health and wellness. We must implement leading protocols and procedures to protect students from all forms of misconduct or harassment. And while UNCSA has these systems in place now, I heard directly from students during my listening sessions in October 2021 that they wanted and needed more. This is why I directed the launch of a comprehensive external review of our policies, procedures, communications and practices to strengthen our response and prevention of sexual misconduct and harassment, with a collective goal of eliminating them from our campus. The review is part of a yearlong partnership with Harassment Free NC (HFNC), an organization that provides holistic and systematic services designed to enhance sexual violence prevention and response efforts.

As a first step, UNCSA will increase campuswide education about sexual misconduct and harassment through a new series of annual mandatory training sessions, which will begin this summer.

  • All faculty and staff must complete one in-person session, one virtual session and assigned online asynchronous training.
  • Faculty will begin asynchronous online training in August and two additional trainings during the fall.
  • Staff training sessions begin June 17, with additional sessions available in July and August. Staff will be assigned a training session; makeup opportunities will be available if you cannot attend.
  • Students begin mandatory training sessions in August. Additional student training will be provided by Speak About It, a consent education and sexual assault prevention nonprofit that uses theater and dialogue to empower students to prevent sexual violence, build healthy relationships, and create positive change in their communities.
  • All student training tracks are customized for college and high school levels.
  • Virtual information sessions for parents will be scheduled in July to provide opportunities to learn more about our training programs, processes and services provided for their students. 

UNCSA Awareness and Prevention Education Program

Progress on this initiative will require an ongoing and sustained effort. I am committed to that effort, and I know that together, we can create a culture of shared safety values and responsibility at UNCSA. And I hope that our students will bring these shared values forward as they enter careers in the arts and entertainment industry, where they will lead by example, hold others accountable, and serve as advocates for enhanced safety and harassment protocols.


Brian Cole 

June 8, 2022