Inside Higher Ed
August 20th, 2014
Most faculty members aren’t trained counselors, but they may find themselves on the front lines of the campus sexual assault problem anyway. Based on course content, a personal connection, or a feeling that they have nowhere else to turn, students sometimes disclose their experiences with assault or harassment to trusted professors who want to help but aren’t sure how. Other faculty members who don't have students confiding in them may still want to do more to curb sexual violence on their campuses. And others have been outspoken about the issue and faced pushback from fellow faculty members or administrators.
A new national organization, Faculty Against Rape, or FAR, aims to help professors obtain resources on campus sexual assault and to build a sense of community and protection among like-minded peers (FAR’s website tagline is “Protect your academic freedom”).
Bill Flack, an associate professor of psychology at Bucknell University whose research centers on traumatology and campus sexual assault, is a FAR staff member. He said he wanted to get involved primarily because “students need our support.”