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UTSA PD Earns Top Award from Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

UTSA received the Excellence in Campus Advocacy & Action Award 2016-2017 from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). The selection was based on the totality of the programs, efforts, and resources provided by and to the entire university over the past year. This recognizes the achievement of a substantial culture change surrounding sexual violence, including assistance to survivors.

In the previous year, UTSA PD earned the TAASA Community Engagement Award 2015-2016. They were commended for their success in working with UTSA departments and student organizations as well as collaborating with Bexar County community agencies to reduce sexual violence and provide resources and services to sexual assault survivors.

“Our Community Affairs Section should be applauded for creating new sexual violence awareness programs, updating training efforts, improving services, and building robust networks with community members,” said Police Chief Gerald Lewis, associate vice president for Public Safety.  

“We have become stronger and more vocal about sexual violence as a department and university,” said UTSA PD Corporal Maranda Tupper. “This supports the culture change that is so needed to end sexual violence.”

Community Affairs partners with UTSA Student Organization Interfraternity Council and UTSA Women’s Study Institute to cohost several outreach events on campus that address sexual violence and provide an atmosphere that supports the culture change to end it. These events include Take Back the Night and Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s It's On Us—Call To Action Day. They table at most major campus events and begin communicating with students at orientation activities even before classes begin. A 2017 UTSA PD intern, Randy Bermea, developed a program with the UTSA Athletic Department and the One Love Foundation to inform athletes and engage them in stopping relationship violence.  

Corporal Tupper, Sgt. Allan Crocker, Cpl. Veronica Diaz, and Esther-Miller Brown of UTSA’s Office of Equal Opportunity Services attended the TAASA University Police Sexual Assault Training held during the National Sexual Assault Conference in Dallas. They received this award at that conference on June 6, 2017. 



Maranda Tupper with Ruben Puente, Assistant Director,
University of Texas System Police


The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) has facilitated outstanding collaborative efforts between UTSA departments and the UTSA students. The engaging efforts for hard work by all have been noticed and supported. UTSA embraces programs such as “Bringing in the Bystander,” “UTSA Beaks Up,” “Speak up Bystander in Intervention Initiative,” and the “It’s on Us to Call to Action Day.”  The UTSA Sexual Assault and Prevention Committee provided opportunities for departments to join forces and expand resources and outreach efforts. “Beaks Up, Speak Up” was utilized throughout the UTSA community with increased involvement and focus on the needs of the campus and surrounding community. Campus and community leaders collaborated to create opportunities to discuss campus sexual violence, an uncomfortable topic for many.  In 2016 UTSA held a wide array of events, including documentary film screenings that discussed campus sexual assault, Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month activities, and training for over 1,000 UTSA students.  They also hold mandatory training for faculty, staff and students which address sexual violence and how to report. UTSA continues to stand firm in promoting the importance of bystander intervention and zero tolerance for sexual violence. The University of Texas San Antonio strives to utilize every available “pulpit” in their efforts to raise awareness to prevent sexual violence and encourage survivors to report. Based on the University of Texas San Antonio PD’s commitment of community engagement, they are being honored with the “Excellence in Campus Advocacy & Action Award”.