Tuesday, September 17, 2019

UTSA updates campus community on preventing sexual assault and misconduct initiative

UTSA updates campus community on preventing sexual assault and misconduct initiative

Editor's Note: UTSA President Taylor Eighmy sent this email to UTSA faculty, staff and students today. 

(Sept. 6, 2019) -- Dear Roadrunners,

You probably saw recently that UTSA has been named one of the safest college campuses in the nation by ASecureLife, a company that researches and reviews the security industry. We are proud of that designation because it reflects our shared commitment to creating an environment where students can learn, succeed and flourish. We especially benefit when our students freely share their ideas, concerns and solutions for improvement.

At the same time, we recognize that UTSA is an environment where young adults can be exposed to inappropriate behavior including sexual misconduct. It is important that you know just how seriously we take our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Roadrunner community.

That is why we have put in place a number of programs to help students confront these issues and establish boundaries of appropriate behavior. These efforts are coordinated by Dean of Students LT Robinson and the task force for the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct, which is helping to cultivate a zero-tolerance environment for all forms of sexual assault and misconduct at UTSA.

Visit our safe campus website to learn about the initiatives we have underway, the training programs we offer and the campus resources that are available to you. We encourage you to become informed, to speak up and to report any concerns you have about inappropriate behavior of any kind.

We also want to make sure you have the latest information on matters that have occurred on campus and how they are being addressed. You may be aware that, early this past summer, a student was arrested for molestation involving a relative who he brought to campus in early 2019. Because it was an active criminal investigation in which we were involved, and because the victim was a minor, we were restricted in what we could say at that time. The suspect, who is no longer a student, is now going through criminal prosecution, and we have taken important learnings from this matter to strengthen our policies regarding minors in campus housing, even when they are relatives of students. You can read the new policy in our Resident Handbook.

Also last year, we received complaints of sexual misconduct by several current and former students. The university conducted thorough investigations on each of these reports, handled by our Equal Opportunity Services (EOS)/Title IX office. We updated the community about this in an email on June 14, 2019 from the task force on the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct. In the coming weeks, EOS will release a comprehensive report for the 2018-2019 fiscal year assessing our overall efforts, investigations and outcomes. You will be receiving an email update on that report.

When issues arise at UTSA, we want you to be aware of them, and we practice transparency to the fullest extent possible. We actively post information in the new campus issues section of our Campus Alerts page.

As we begin this new academic year, I am looking forward to continuing our important work in this area, ensuring that UTSA remains a university where all Roadrunners can safely study, live, work and thrive. 

As always, I am energized by the collective commitment by all of you – students, faculty and staff alike – to talk about these tough issues and address them head on as a learning community.  

With appreciation,

Taylor Eighmy


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