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Northwestern OWF
South Campus in Spring
Sexual Harassment, Assault and Abuse on Campus

1983

OWF successfully advocates for student education programs on sexual assault and abuse. In the wake of a gang rape on campus, a delegation from OWF meets with the Provost, who agrees to the following proposals:

  • That one hour of New Student Week be devoted to educating incoming students about rape and sexual harassment;

  • That self-defense classes be organized at the University's expense;

  • That training programs on post-sexual assault counseling and advocacy be initiated for Resident Advisors;

  • That a budget be allocated to set up small libraries containing material on self-help and self-defense at several points on campus; and

  • That a series of firesides be maintained for the purpose of raising consciousness among both female and male students.

1986

OWF successfully lobbies for the creation of the Northwestern University Women's Center. In response to strenuous lobbying by OWF, the University establishes a campus Women's Center to counsel faculty, students and staff on issues surrounding sexual harassment, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, relationship violence, discrimination, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic isolation, and other matters related to being a woman at Northwestern.

1989

OWF establishes University-wide procedures for dealing with sexual harassment. Beginning in 1982, OWF campaigned for effective procedures for dealing with sexual harassment on campus. After seven years of lobbying, OWF succeeds in getting the University's first sexual harassment procedures adopted. The Sexual Harassment policy that grows out of OWF efforts causes Harvard University, in its 2005 "Report on the Status of Women Faculty," to designate Northwestern a "best practice institution."