Responding to Dating Violence and Stalking on Campuses – Inside Higher Ed

The Lauren McCluskey Foundation announced five initiatives on Friday to respond to dating violence and stalking on campuses. The announcement marked the three-year anniversary of the murder of McCluskey, a University of Utah student and track and field athlete who was killed outside her dorm in 2018 by a man she’d dated briefly.

The University of Utah has acknowledged having failed McCluskey, who repeatedly notified university police of concerns about her ex-boyfriend’s behavior, and the university said in a 2020 settlement agreement with her family that her death was “preventable.”

The initiatives were announced Friday during a press conference on Utah’s campus involving Utah’s president. They include:

  • Raising awareness of the problem on college campuses through an annual Dating Violence and Stalking Awareness Day, to be held every year on Oct. 22, the anniversary of McCluskey’s murder.
  • Expanding adoption of Lauren’s Promise, a statement professors can include in their syllabi that alerts students that the faculty member will listen to them and believe them if they are being threatened.
  • Develop a “best practices blueprint” for effective campus responses to dating violence and stalking.
  • Develop and disseminate a “campus safety score” rating colleges based on procedures, training and resources that are available to respond to campus safety threats.
  • Share resources and advocate for advocating for stronger laws on dating violence and stalking.

“Telling Lauren’s story, as painful as it is, makes a difference,” said Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and the president of the foundation. “This is someone who died because she wasn’t helped.”


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