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New Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Initiative

February 15, 2017

To: All UW Community Members

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As your president, I want you all to know that the safety of all members of the university community, our guests and visitors is among my top priorities. I take this responsibility seriously and want to share with you some upcoming initiatives and invite you to be part of the effort.

While UW is a safe campus, and we have many prevention and response services in place, I believe that we can and must do more.

I am specifically concerned with the prevalence of sexual assault in higher education. According to a 2007 National Institute of Justice report, about one in five women and 6 percent of men are victims of a completed or attempted sexual assault while in college. This report also found that alcohol was involved in the majority of campus sexual assaults.

As your president, I find this situation to be unacceptable.

Therefore, I have charged Associate Vice President Sean Blackburn and Interim Title IX Coordinator Jim Osborn with forming a team to expand our sexual assault prevention and response efforts. The group includes representatives from UWPD, ASUW, SAFE Project, Stop Violence and others. Today we launch several efforts to prevent sexual assault.  And we will keep you informed as efforts progress.

You can be part of this initiative in several ways:

  1. As Chief Samp told you last week: It is critical for all community members to "say something when you see something."  Learn how to do so now, so that you are prepared. To learn how to report suspected crimes, click here.  If you believe a student may be in distress, learn how to report here.

  2. Educate yourself here about what to do if an assault occurs.

  3. Be part of Step Up! Bystander Intervention Training. You can start by watching this UW video and signing up for a training this semester. Faculty, staff and police officers are usually not around when dangerous situations begin. We need students to learn how to Step Up! and safely intervene. By watching the video and participating in a training, you’ll learn the five steps to helping: 1 – Be aware of your surroundings; 2 – Notice when there is a problem; 3 – Take personal responsibility; 4 – Know how to help; and 5 – Implement the help, Step UP!

  4. We are adopting the NO MORE national campaign. Check out the campaign’s website and take the pledge to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. We will celebrate the national No More Week March 5-11, 2017. 

  5. Please join us on Feb. 25 as the UW men’s basketball team defeats the New Mexico Lobos during the No More Game

  6. The UW fraternity and sorority community is committed to doing its part to support this effort by contributing all of the 2017 Greek Week proceeds to the STOP Violence Emergency Survivors Fund. I'll share more information on how you can support this philanthropic effort as we get closer to celebrating Greek Week March 5-9, 2017. 

The working group has already implemented a few efforts to begin immediately improving our prevention and response efforts.

  1. We have launched a new website: Report IT, where you can learn how to report sexual misconduct, civil rights discrimination and workplace violence.

  2. Mandatory Student Education: Because alcohol is involved in so many sexual assaults in college, beginning this semester all new students are now mandated to complete our Alcohol Edu and Haven online education programs during their first semester at UW. These educational programs are used on almost 700 campuses nationwide. Alcohol Edu helps empower students to make well-informed decisions about alcohol and will help them reflect on and consider issues related to college drinking. Haven provides students with information about healthy relationships, the importance of consent, how to help a friend and the many ways you can support a safe and positive campus experience.

  3. Mandatory Employee Education: All current employees must complete Sexual Misconduct and Duty to Report training by March 31, 2017. New employees must have the training within 90 days of hire. This required course includes vital background information pertaining to laws and definitions of sexual misconduct, outlines every employee’s responsibility to report sexual misconduct, and provides useful information on what happens after an incident is reported. This training is offered in person and as an online module. To view the schedule and registration instructions for either the online or in-person sessions, click here. For questions or to schedule a training session for your unit, department or college, please call Employment Practices at 766-3459.

Please join me in making our campus an even safer place to live, study and grow. I will keep you informed on other steps we are taking to improve campus safety and how you may help. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Nichols

UW President


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