Professors Across the Country Add “Lauren’s Promise” to Syllabi Honoring Lauren McCluskey

Nina%2C+22%2C+holds+sign+in+solidarity+for+Lauren+McCluskey+in+caravan+protest+on+June+6%2C+2020+after+the+police++scandal+which+revealed+an+officer+involved+in+McCluskey%27s+case+showed+intimated+photographs.

Ivana Martinez

Nina, 22, holds sign in solidarity for Lauren McCluskey in caravan protest on June 6, 2020 after the police scandal which revealed an officer involved in McCluskey's case showed intimated photographs.

By Porshai Nielsen

 

“I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you.” Professors across the country are including this statement in their syllabi showing their commitment to their students’ safety. 

The pledge is completely voluntary for professors to place in syllabi or for students and faculty to display through stickers. Following the promise, professors may list resources for students in their area, including police departments off-campus. 

“I believe it’s important to personalize and instill in students that it can/will affect students on our campus. Attaching someone’s name makes it that much more real for students and grabs their attention for them to know that I am a resource,” said Professor Paul Cassell J.D, S.J Quinney College of Law. 

Lauren’s Promise has only been recently created through the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. McCluskey’s family continues to raise awareness by promoting campus safety, funding research and education programs to keep college students safe while attending school. Lauren McCluskey was killed on the University of Utah’s campus after being stalked and threatened by an ex-boyfriend who lied to her about his age and name.

“I was thinking, I wished someone — or a professor — would have let Lauren know that he or she would listen to her and believe her if someone was threatening her,” said Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother, in an interview with ABC4. 

Lauren’s Promise has not only been placed in syllabi at the U but also at other local colleges across the United States. 

“I have shifted my perspective on teaching a lot over the past few years to recognize that my role as an educator involves more than just teaching particular concepts. I’ve really tried to transform my class to be a resource center for students who are looking for help with class material, but also with personal matters. Lauren’s Promise is an easy first start for faculty members to begin providing resources for their students that goes beyond their classrooms,” said Professor Jadrian Wooten, Ph.D., department of economics at Pennsylvania State University. 

Madeline Gallegos, a fourth-year student studying Kinesiology said she is pleased with professors including Lauren’s Promise on syllabi but it is not enough. 

“Adding it to the syllabus is nice, I am glad that they are acknowledging it and want to make a difference. But the system itself is broken, it will take a lot more than saying it to create a safe environment on campus,” Gallegos said.

Other organizations on campus are taking Lauren’s Promise and offering other resources besides the U Police Department — whom McCluskey reached out to several times before her death. 

Places like the Utah Crisis Line, Salt Lake Behavioral Health and Utah Domestic Violence Coalition are resources that people are advertising to students and professors.

Professors all across the country can take the promise virtually. Taking the promise means to be an ally to those affected by sexual assault and to help point those in need to resources available for sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking. Professors can also order a sticker here, they will be mailed for free while supplies last.

 

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@porshainielsen