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Penn State triggers ethics reminder at NU

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro sent an  email message to students early this morning regarding the sexual abuse controversy at Penn State University.

Schapiro said "our hearts go out" to the abuse victims and said the incidents should serve as a reminder "to rededicate ourselves to maintaining the highest ethical standards in all of our actions" at the university.

The message went on to detail options for reporting suspected problems.

Here's the text of the message as provided to Evanston Now by one of the recipients.

Subject: Maintaining the highest ethical standards

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, followed closely by final exams, I know that many of us are racing to complete another packed academic term. However, I would urge all members of the Northwestern community to pause for a moment and think about what we have learned from the events at Penn State University. Our thoughts are with those victims, as they are with victims of abuse everywhere. Our hearts go out to them and to their families.

I would also ask us to rededicate ourselves to maintaining the highest ethical standards in all of our actions at the University. Northwestern’s founders created this University 160 years ago as an institution dedicated to the highest order of excellence, and it is the responsibility of all of us to continue to meet those standards. We want to be as vigilant as possible, and we will not condone illegal or unethical actions by any member of the University community, regardless of his or her position.

At Northwestern, there are several ways to report suspected problems:

• If you believe a crime has been committed, call University Police at 847-491-3456 or 312-503-3456. In an emergency, dial 911.
• If you believe that you or someone else has been a victim of any type of sexual harassment, including sexual violence or abuse, contact:
– The Sexual Harassment Prevention Office at 847-491-3745, or one of the individuals listed at http://www.northwestern.edu/sexual-harassment/help/index.html
– The Center for Awareness, Response and Education at 847-491-2146 or http://www.northwestern.edu/care
• If you believe that a child has been abused in any way, including sexually, you should contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at 1-800-25-ABUSE.
• If you think that someone has committed an ethical violation, go to http://www.northwestern.edu/ethics/. You will be guided to the appropriate method for reporting a concern.
• Call the ethics hotline at 866-294-3545.

If you see something that strikes you as illegal, unethical, or potentially problematic, say something. I assure you that the University will follow up and take the necessary actions, while protecting you from any retaliation.

Northwestern is a remarkable institution, thanks to our extraordinary students, faculty and staff. With your assistance, we will keep it that way.

Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

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