Fall 2014 Newsletter
Title IX Update: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence
Raising Awareness to Stop Sexual Violence on College Campuses
The EO Office has posters, flyers and wallet cards informing students, faculty and staff about their rights and reporting options related to sexual violence. Want some of these materials for your office or department? Call us at x3307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The White House and Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education are continuing their focus on the problem of sexual violence on college campuses. In January of this year, the White House established a Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Following issuance of the Task Force’s first report in April 2014, the White House last month launched the “It’s On Us” campaign. The initiative emphasizes the importance of establishing community norms that do not tolerate sexual assault, and of engaging bystanders to intervene to prevent it. In addition to a short video, the “Its On Us” website offers concrete actions students and others can take to create a caring community that acts to stop sexual violence. Please share these resources with students in your programs and classes.
Sexual Harassment Policy Updated
In September, Western’s policy on Preventing and Responding to Sex Discrimination, Including Sexual Misconduct was revised to explicitly prohibit gender-based harassment, sexual violence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and other sexual misconduct. The revised policy outlines confidential and non-confidential resources and reporting options for students, faculty and staff affected by sexual violence and other sexual misconduct. Under the policy, employees other than confidential counselors and health care providers who are aware of incidents of sexual misconduct that may violate the policy must report them to the Title IX Coordinator.
All members of the University community are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the revised policy, which is available online.
Many people think Title IX covers only students. Actually, Title IX protects employees as well as students. Faculty and staff with concerns about sexual violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator, Sue Guenter-Schlesinger in the Equal Opportunity Office for assistance or to file a complaint. Employees may seek confidential support via the Employee Assistance Program and DVSAS (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services) in downtown Bellingham, which provides a confidential 24-hour helpline at (360) 715-1563. Staff and faculty may also contact Human Resources to request leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Resources for students include CASAS, the Counseling Center and the Student Health Center (all confidential), the Equal Opportunity Office/Title IX Coordinator, and the Dean of Students Office.