Updated: January 2015
The University of Oregon is committed to creating a safe, responsible and respectful campus, free from all forms of sexual misconduct and violence. This is a serious nationwide problem, and a problem on our campus. Addressing this issue is a top priority for the University of Oregon. The entire campus community must continue to work together to change the campus climate — this cannot be a reactive short term response, but rather a sustained effort.
Interim President Scott Coltrane has announced a sweeping set of initiatives to prevent sexual assault, encourage reporting, increase support and investigations, and ensure fair and robust accountability on campus. The initiatives start with creating a new Assistant Vice President to serve as the primary advisor to the president and coordinate the efforts across campus around prevention, education, support and response. In addition to this new position, the president announced the commitment to invest an additional $500,000 per year in new prevention and response programs, as well as hiring new educators and investigators before the start of the next academic year.
The comprehensive effort stems from a nearly yearlong review of the university’s sexual assault policies and practices. The university has implemented or will enact more than 120 recommendations from three internal and external reviews, which will be led by the new Assistant Vice President. The status of all the recommendations is listed here.
In the fall of 2014, the President's Office received three reports with recommendations about how to make improvements to our current practices to address prevention, response, and reporting of sexual assault, and support for survivors. The list of reports and executive summary of each report is below:
- President's Review Panel report - Executive Summary of Response
- Student Life university-wide gap analysis - Executive Summary of Response
- Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support report - Executive Summary of Response
The initiatives focuses on three areas: oversight and accountability, prevention and education; and support and response. The university will make a series of key investments in each of the three areas including:
Oversight and Accountability
- Immediately launch the search for an Assistant Vice President focused on sexual assault prevention and response.
- Create a permanent Advisory Council focused on reducing sexual violence and other forums of sexual and gender misconduct, and promote responsibly, safety and respect.
Prevention and Education
- Launch a new bystander intervention program to empower students to intervene to encourage positive behavior and prevent sexual assault.
The university will launch a prevention and education program designed to help students and others learn to interrupt potential harmful situation by saying something or doing something. The program will be put in place before the fall 2015 academic term.
- Increase amount and frequency of prevention education programming
The university is expanding the highly successful Sexual Wellness Awareness Team (SWAT) program and increasing for prevention education throughout the year to ensure all students benefit from the education.
- Conduct bi-annual sexual violence campus climate surveys starting this spring
The university has committed to a national climate survey by the AAU and a locally campus climate survey that will be conducted this April to help understand the issues and assess our effort in the future.
Response and Support
- Increase the capacity for the university investigate sexual misconduct by adding investigative staff
- Designate two new Title IX deputy officers
- Increase number of confidential reporters and better education campus about reporting responsibilities
Since summer of 2014 the President's Office, Student Life, the Division of Finance and Adminstration, University Police Department, and other units began implementing some of the program and policy changes recommended in the reports, these actions include:
- Added an additional $15,000 for an emergency fund to support survivors
- Provided Title IX information about responsibilities, reporting, and resources to all faculty, graduate teaching fellows, and staff and committed to continue on-going education
- Student life and athletics collaborated to create an It’s On Us education campaign about sexual violence, substance abuse, suicide and gender bias
- Funded a pilot program of a women’s self-defense training program for the academic term
- Increased funding to expand the highly successful Sexual Wellness Awareness Training program
- Authorized two campus climate surveys and appointed a Campus Climate Survey Advisory Committee
- Agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the City of Eugene about how Eugene Police and the university will share information about reports of sexual offenses to ensure timely reporting and investigation of sexual assault offenses
- Made changes to restrictive policies so that the Ombudsperson is able to operate with appropriate standards of confidentiality, neutrality, and independence
- Provided $90,000 in additional resources this academic term to support prevention and education staffing. That is in addition to several new staffing positions focused on sexual violence response and investigation added in spring 2014
- Made several permanent and temporary changes to the student code of conduct related to sexual misconduct designed to protect students
If you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual misconduct visit the safe.uoregon.edu website for information about resources and options for confidential reporting.
Archive of Sexual Assault Response Resources