From the Emirates: All NYUAD students to receive training on sexual misconduct

By Andres Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief at The Gazelle

In an email to the entire NYU Abu Dhabi student body, Dean of Students David Tinagero revealed a new plan to address sexual misconduct and awareness in the school. The email revealed that all NYUAD students will be receiving training on sexual misconduct prevention and awareness.

The resources outlined in the email are a part of a wave of recent efforts by universities across the United States who are responding to an increased awareness of sexual misconduct, lack of information and lack of action in campuses across the States.

Tinagero also spoke of different resources available to students in the case of sexual misconduct. These resources include the Health and Wellness Center (02.628.8100) and the Wellness Exchange in New York (02.628.5555). Both of these resources can advise students and keep information confidential.

Alternatively, students can also personally report incidents of sexual misconducts to Tinagero.

“[O]nce I receive a report regarding an incident of sexual misconduct, I will share the information disclosed with school administrators involved in responding to such matters, including NYU’s Title IX Coordinator, to determine appropriate next steps to address the situation. Such steps may include an investigation and disciplinary proceedings,” said Tinagero.

Lastly, the email announced that Tina Wadhwa has been appointed Associate Director of Mental Health Promotion and Sexual Misconduct Support Services. Wadhwa will offer support for issues related to preventing sexual misconduct on our campus. She will be trained on the University’s judicial process and will be available to meet with students both one-on-one and in groups.

Wadhwa and Student Counselor Jenni Kahler have trained Residential Assistants on bystander intervention. RAs were trained to intervene in situations in which they assessed that sexua misconduct, misbehaviour or assault were a possibility. Roshni Dadlani, RA and peer supporter with REACH, a student led peer support group, mentioned that REACH members are currently being trained on a weekly basis.  Dadlani envisions that they will be qualified to conduct workshops on bystander intervention, sexual misconducts and related issues in the near future, with the supervision of Wadhwa.

The announcements, however, deal only with the training aspect of sexual misconduct. According to NYU’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship, Violence and Stalking Policy, the school reserves the right to take action against someone found to have committed an act of prohibited conduct. This means that incidents will still be dealt on a case-by-case basis.

“Hopefully at some point this training becomes compulsory as part of Marhaba,” said Dadlani.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Dec. 1 print edition. Email Andres Rodriguez at [email protected]