St. Norbert College students react to Norbertine sexual misconduct investigation

Published: Oct. 7, 2018 at 4:55 PM CDT
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Students at St. Norbert College are weighing in on the current climate around campus. This after the St. Norbert Abbey said an external investigation found "no factual basis to allegations" of sexual misconduct, adding the accused Norbertines are innocent.

Some students say they were shocked when news of the investigation first hit campus, but are glad a dialogue was opened up.

“I'd say that we're a little shocked at first, but I mean just with how friendly everybody is here there's always going to be a way to overcome it and I don't think it's going to have us miss any beat on our education or anything that's going on out here," said Charlie Hietpas, freshman at St. Norbert.

"I mean I'm glad that people are actually talking about it you know rather than keeping it hushed up. I mean it is kind of a difficult thing for people to talk about, but at least people are you know realizing it,” said Miranda Wilson, another freshman at St. Norbert.

St. Norbert President, Dr. Brian Bruess, says the school is currently reviewing its Title IX policy, which relates to sexual harassment and misconduct on campus.

"I spent some time this week with some students and in a few short conversations they were able to identify 20 or 30 additional ideas that they'd like to see us consider, and each one of those has already been acted on and it's moved forward to the Title IX Working Group," said Dr. Bruess.

This week 45 faculty and staff members signed a letter of support to students and the community, recognizing the college's response to improving its Title IX Policy.

“Seeing all that on paper, it's like wow they really do care about me here. I'm not just a student here, I'm a person and they really want me to be successful and safe all at the same time," Hietpas added.

"One of the biggest reasons why I went to this school is because I know that the staff and the professors and everyone like wants us to feel safe and accepted and everything, so it's kind of reassuring to know that even though there's a bunch of stuff going on that we'll have a bunch of resources and people that are on our side," Wilson said.