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Acting to strengthen the university's policies regarding sexual violence and harassment, the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees Friday approved a new regulation on sexual misconduct involving students.
The regulation is accompanied by a new policy document that spells out the definitions of sexual assault and harassment; identifies resources and support for students; and outlines how to file complaints of sexual misconduct. It's intended to provide guidance to UW students, employees and visitors on appropriate behavior, education and support on matters of sexual conduct.
"UW takes these matters seriously, and the new regulation and policy clearly lay out our commitment to fostering a campus environment that both promotes and expedites prompt reporting of sexual misconduct, and timely and fair adjudication of sexual misconduct cases," UW President Tom Buchanan says.
The new regulation points out that UW "prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual discrimination, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual harassment and any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct. Students should be able to live, study and work in an environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct."
The university already has a number of processes and protocols in place to address sexual misconduct, but the new regulation and policy codify those measures. The documents are, in part, a response to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and legislation that requires colleges and universities to provide support to people involved in sexual misconduct incidents and prevention education.
The policy -- designed to meet the federal standards while reflecting current practices at UW -- was developed by a team of UW professionals representing Employment Practices, Student Affairs, General Counsel and University Police. The group began its work approximately a year ago.
"We are proud of our ongoing prevention education and response to incidents of sexual misconduct," says Dean of Students Dave Cozzens. "However, it is crucial to continue to fine-tune these processes. This regulation and policy allow for these modifications when necessary."
The documents may be viewed online at: https://www.uwyo.edu/dos/resources/sexual-misconduct.html