Today, UTSA and The University of Texas System released a comprehensive survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment on our college campuses. More than 3,000 UTSA students participated in this survey.
While sexual misconduct is an issue at colleges and universities across the nation, we owe it to you to do everything in our power to ensure that your experience at UTSA is a safe one.
As unacceptable as sexual assault and sexual harassment are, it is equally unacceptable to be silent on these issues.
Here is the reality of the situation at UTSA:
It is also troubling to learn that only 1 in 4 of these incidents were reported, potentially because the victims were not aware of the help available to them, felt uncertain about the support they would receive if they reported it, or chose not to say anything because the majority of incidents occurred off campus.
I believe even one incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment is one too many. There is no excuse for this behavior. UTSA must have a zero tolerance policy.
Today, I established a campus task force, comprised of faculty, staff and students, to assess the effectiveness of our current awareness, training and prevention programs and make recommendations for changes and new programs. I have also instructed the task force to develop a strategy to make sexual assault awareness and prevention a regular part of our campus culture.
I need your help. I need you to become involved in these initiatives. I need you to speak up when you see something that is wrong. I need you to join with me in looking out for the well being of each other.
Sexual misconduct is not something we should talk about once a year during a “national recognition” month or when you first enter college. It is something we should talk about every day until we have changed the culture.
I encourage you to read more about the CLASE report and current UTSA programs at www.utsa.edu/today, and share your thoughts on what we all do to improve the campus climate. Likewise, I will stay in touch in the coming days regarding efforts we can all take to keep each other safe.