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UTSA launches President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct

UTSA launches President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct

(Feb. 11, 2019) -- To cultivate a zero-tolerance environment for all forms of sexual assault and misconduct at UTSA, President Taylor Eighmy today announced the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct. Building on several past initiatives that led to the creation of the UTSA Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment last year, this new initiative framework elevates university-wide efforts to foster a campus environment that is safe for all Roadrunners to study, work and live.

Led by Interim Dean of Students LT Robinson, the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct is a wide-ranging endeavor with task forces designated to tackle various aspects of this critical work. At the outset, they include:

  • Programming and Outreach – Students, faculty and staff members on the Violence Prevention Action Team are already working to create a new slate of programs for the campus community. These include enhanced Orientation programming for incoming students and a peer educators cohort, among others. To support this work, UTSA has joined with 37 other colleges and universities in the Culture of Respect Collective, a rigorous two-year program designed to help institutions improve their approaches to addressing sexual violence on their campuses.
  • Training and Development – This task force will develop an expansive set of sexual assault/misconduct educational opportunities for UTSA students, faculty and staff. Existing campus trainings will be reviewed—and new ones explored—to identify the most effective ways to equip Roadrunners with tools for prevention and bystander intervention. Continuing to develop an understanding of these issues is fundamental to becoming a more inclusive, welcoming and safe campus.
  • Data Governance and Reporting – Several units across the university collect information on sexual assault and misconduct incidents to fulfill various legal requirements for reporting. This task force will connect these efforts through a data governance structure to improve clarity, consistency and transparency, allowing the university to better quantify trends and track progress.

An initiative steering committee will create additional pathways for institutional systemic and culture change. A critical part of its work will be to evolve this initiative by creating action plans based on the findings of a forthcoming Title IX Office external review and sexual assault allegations investigation.

These reports will inform the work of Suzanne Patrick, the new UTSA director of Equal Opportunity Services and Title IX Coordinator. Both reports will be shared with the campus community when they are complete, and the findings and recommendations will be addressed as soon as possible.

Additionally, imminent changes on the national and state levels—including the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed Title IX reforms and the 20 bills addressing sexual assault filed by Texas State lawmakers—may call for further action plans.

“This is not easy work, and culture change does not happen overnight. But I am highly encouraged by the unwavering commitment of UTSA’s leadership, by the work that is already underway and by the students, faculty and staff who have raised their voices in support of tackling these issues head-on,” said Eighmy. ”I believe wholeheartedly in UTSA’s ability to serve as a model learning community, where our core values of respect, integrity and inclusivity are evident in everything we do, and where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.”

Learn more about UTSA’s Safe Campus Resources.

Learn more about UTSA’s vision.

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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.