The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

Letter to Editor: Next UI VP for Student Life Must Make Sexual Violence a Top Priority

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With the upcoming retirement of UI Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin, there is an opportunity for new leadership on the issue of sexual violence. Any candidate who is considered for the job must see eradicating sexual violence as a pressing campus issue.

Rates of sexual assault on college campuses across the country remain staggering, and the University of Iowa is no exception. One in five female undergraduates responding to last year’s Campus Climate Survey reported being raped since enrolling at the university, as well as roughly one in 25 responding male students. These statistics conform with with alarming national averages reported by the Department of Justice.

At Iowa, the vice president for Student Life oversees the Women’s Resource and Action Center and the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response. They are also involved with the fraternity and sorority life community, first-year students, and campus alcohol-harm reduction. Additionally, the new vice president will be responsible for ensuring that the university’s Antiviolence Plan for sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking is effectively carried out. These many roles demand that the new vice president be someone who is expressly committed to ending sexual violence on our campus and ensuring continued support for survivors.

— Nathan Kooker and Gabriela Magalhaes,

Student Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct co-heads

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