Sunday, February 18, 2018

Task force seeks input on campus sexual assault awareness and prevention programs

Task force seeks input on campus sexual assault awareness and prevention programs

(July 5, 2017) -- The President's Task Force on Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus is asking the UTSA community to provide input about the university’s sexual assault awareness and prevention programs as it prepares recommendations for new and updated initiatives. The task force was established by UTSA President Ad Interim Pedro Reyes in May and charged with ensuring that sexual assault awareness and prevention initiatives are integrated into daily campus life.

The task force work’s includes evaluating current programs and recommending new initiatives in six areas: response, assessment, policy, reporting, transparency and evaluation. Input received from the campus community will be used to develop recommendations for implementation in the fall semester.

Comments and suggestions may be submitted to the task force at Input will be kept anonymous, unless the submitter requests a response.

President Reyes established the task force following the March release of Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments (CLASE) student survey. The study explored the prevalence of sexual harassment, stalking, dating and domestic violence, and unwanted sexual contact on UT System campuses and found that 20 percent of UTSA students were victims of student-perpetrated sexual harassment.

Additionally, it found that 75 percent of these incidents went unreported potentially because victims were not aware of the help available to them or felt uncertain about the support they would receive if they reported it, or chose not to say anything because the majority of incidents (approximately 90 percent) occurred off campus.

UTSA first recognized more than a decade ago that intimate and interpersonal violence was a national issue that warranted a proactive and multi-faceted approach to ensure the well-being of students. As a result, it became one of the first Texas universities to incorporate sexual assault reporting and investigations into its Title IX policies. Since that time, it has developed more than 40 unique educational initiatives and large-scale events to raise awareness of and prevent sexual misconduct and sexual assault, encourage greater reporting of incidents and teach students how alcohol and drugs can impair decision-making.