UH president David McClain affirms UH system as a rape-free zoneUniversity of Hawaiʻi
HONOLULU — At a press conference held today by the Office of the President of the University of Hawai'i System, UH President David McClain affirmed his earlier declaration from a rally last spring that the UH System be a "Rape-Free Zone" as a symbol of the commitment of the university to increase the level of safety on each of its ten campuses.
"It is clear that security enhancements are essential for the safety and peace of mind of our students, faculty, staff and the community-at-large," said McClain. "As part of this commitment, I have required that each of our campus chancellors commit a minimum of five percent of new funds available in the upcoming 2005-07 biennium to be utilized for security improvements."
Each of the campuses will be utilizing the additional dollars in ways that will benefit the specific needs of their campus. Improvements include: hiring of additional security guards, lighting repairs or enhancements; installation of new call boxes, surveillance cameras, silent alarms and locks; and addition of fencing.
"The Mānoa campus has already formed a security task force that is working to implement recommendations made by an ad hoc committee on safety and security that was convened in the last academic year," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Denise Konan.
"Our security officers have new uniforms that better convey their status as law enforcers on our campus. We have secured funding to move forward with changes to our lighting on campus and the addition of surveillance cameras and special locks on building doors."
UH is also planning to introduce new legislation to request that Mānoa campus security be granted arrest authority while working closely with the Office of the Attorney General, the State‘s Sheriff‘s Office, and the Honolulu Police Department. Currently, each of Mānoa‘s 12 peer institutions has a campus police force with arrest authority.
In addition to the steps being taken to improve security on each campus, a systemwide sexual assault policy has been drafted by the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office. The policy has already been circulated for consultation, and is nearing completion.
All executive and managerial personnel across the entire UH system are also being required to attend a sexual assault awareness training program on September 8 that will feature nationally recognized speaker and trainer, Jackson Katz. Katz is being brought to Hawaiʻi by Girl Fest Hawaiʻi.
One of America‘s leading anti-sexist male activists, Katz is widely recognized for his groundbreaking work in the field of gender violence prevention education. He has lectured for various groups across the country and also in Canada and Japan. He is the co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program and the director of the first worldwide domestic and sexual violence prevention program in the United States Marine Corps.
"Education and awareness are also critical components of efforts to increase safety on our campuses," said McClain. "In addition to extra lighting and security personnel, it is imperative that we have the active participation of individuals willing to become more aware of the safety issues affecting themselves and others."About the University of Hawaiʻi
Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit www.hawaii.edu.