UNL and a student organization help raise awareness of sexual assault

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – It’s been just over a year since a reported rape at a University of Nebraska-Lincoln fraternity sparked huge protests, with hundreds of students calling for action overnight which was to follow.

The University promised changes and on Monday the students reflected on what has been done since then. 10/11 NOW spoke to ‘kNOw More’, a student organization founded in the wake of last year’s alleged sexual assault.

With classes in full swing, the organization said this time of year is a vital time to remind students to stay safe.

A year ago, hundreds of students gathered outside the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, calling for the closure of the house following a reported rape. In the weeks that followed, Olivia Minderman, a freshman at the time, started “kNOw More”, a student-run organization with her peers in mind, with the goal of keeping the campus and raise awareness about sexual assault.

“I really didn’t like the way the protests were turning in the direction they were going,” Minderman said. “And I was really focused on supporting survivors, and not really who but what.”

Minderman said the fall semester is the most important time to get his band’s message across.

“College campuses are very, very, very fun places to see, yes, I love them,” Minderman said. “But they can also be super dangerous. A lot of people get excited, the first time you don’t have a period, you don’t live in your house. And so things can happen that we don’t want to happen.

Minderman said we were in what is called the “red zone”. It runs from August to November, which is when 50% of sexual assaults on campus take place.

Minderman said she has noticed changes on campus since last year.

“I think the incident really raised awareness, if that makes sense,” Minderman said. “And I think especially going into this new year in week one, people are remembering this tragedy, people are just super hyper aware.”

The UNL student government says that while no change can be made overnight, the University is making good progress so far.

“I think the most important thing, especially from a student perspective, is to be survivor-focused,” said ASUN President Jacob Drake. “And be ready to act, without students needing to tell their whole raw story to be heard. We know it exists on campus, we know it changes the lives of so many people.

Regarding the alleged assault, FIJI has been suspended until 2026 and no arrests have been made.

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