Sexual assault task force releases report

Earlier today, President Mary Ellen Mazey issued an address to all students and staff about efforts to battle sexual assault on campus. Although the University received the rank of 27th in the nation on the 2017 list of Safest Colleges in America, Mazey pointed out that no campus is immune from sexual assault and other misconduct. 

At the end of last school year, the growing problem became a top concern. On May 1, a task force on sexual assault was assembled, comprised of a mix of students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate. 

Mazey said she asked members of the task force to review the University’s sexual assault policies and procedures and provide recommendations on how these policies can be improved to better assist victims of assault, to improve campus culture and have more education and prevention efforts. 

The task force has been working on this job throughout the summer. Listed below are recommendations from the task force that have been taken into account in the process of making a safer campus: 

· Create a center focusing on sexual violence prevention, advocacy and wellness that is responsible for coordinating the University’s efforts to train, educate, and prevent sexual assault and misconduct. 

· Establish a clear separation from staff responsible for student care and those involved in Title IX investigation and adjudication. Hire a case manager to coordinate and provide ongoing support for all parties throughout and beyond the Title IX process. With a focus on a student’s well-being and overall success, the case manager should be the primary support for students and assist them with completing their degrees at BGSU. 

· Increase trainings specifically focused on bystander intervention so students will learn how to effectively and safely intervene in situations that can lead to sexual assault and misconduct. 

· Create a separate new sexual assault and misconduct policy that is user friendly and reflects best practices and the additional recommendations advanced in this report. 

· Promote an environment that supports reporting sexual assault and misconduct. Increase BGSU’s efforts to inform the campus community of the See It. Hear It. Report It. campaign. Leverage social media, the BGSU website, emails and print materials to notify students, faculty and staff of the reporting campaign that was launched in spring 2017.  

President Mazey said more about the task force’s progress will be released as the school year progresses. 

“When a sexual assault occurs, it’s a crime perpetrated on the survivor and an attack on our entire Falcon Family,” she wrote in an email to students and staff. “As a community, we must all come together to prevent sexual assault. It’s on us.”