In the wake of student criticism of a lack of centralized resources for victims of sexual assault at Cornell, the University recently launched a website to provide access to information about sexual assault and support to people who might need it.
“There are already many resources at Cornell,” said Tommy Bruce, vice president for University communications. “This website will make it easy to find them in a pinch.”
The website, which launched Jan. 25, represents an effort to accumulate all of the University’s sexual harassment and assault resources in one place. It can be accessed at share.cornell.edu and includes a news section that features links to pertinent local news stories.
“It is a one-stop virtual resource center for issues concerning sexual assault and sexual harassment,” said Kathy Zoner, chief of the Cornell University Police Department. “[You can] see the myriad resources on campus in one area.”
According to Bruce, the website is a response to student suggestions and reflects a growing awareness of a need among members of the Cornell community. It is also the result of a report by the University’s Incident Management Team, which recommended the creation of a virtual information and resource center.
“This is the first big step in that direction,” Bruce said.
Judicial Administrator Mary Beth Grant J.D. ’88, said that the website aims to ensure clear communication between the University and students.
“We want to make sure that people understand the resources, because it’s a very under-reported crime,” she said.
Bruce said he hopes the website will become an asset to the Cornell community.
“[It] is our sincere hope that this website will grow into a valuable resource center available to anyone in the community needing assistance or seeking to provide help to a friend or colleague,” he said.
Three University divisions are collaborating to develop and maintain the site: University Communications, Student and Academic Services and Human Resources and Safety Services, Bruce said.
Each division will create content related to its individual department, according to Bruce. For instance, the HR department, specifically CUPD, will be responsible for public safety, while SAS, epecially Gannett Health Services, will be responsible for medical information, counseling and treatment.
As the website recieves feedback from the Cornell community, there will be opportunity for further growth, Grant said.
“It's not intended to be stagnant,” she said.
Zoner echoed Grant’s statement, saying that the website will grow with its exposure to the community.
“It’s the University’s initial launch, so we don’t expect that we have everything exactly in place. … It will be growing as we increase connections to our community,” she said.
Carol Wu ’16 said the website is a valuable opportunity for people to educate themselves about sexual assault.
“I feel like this is a very good resource for people, whether they’re looking to get educated about this or if they need to find a place to get help. It’s a great centralized resource,” Wu said.