Today, University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross approved a task force report that recommends all UW System employees and students complete sexual violence and harassment training.  It also integrates trauma-informed principles into policies and resources as part of the UW System’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence and harassment on campus.

“Our campus communities should be safe and welcoming places to live, learn and work – and there is no room for compromise on this commitment,” said UW System President Cross.  “This report reflects our dedication to addressing the disturbing and persistent problems of sexual violence and harassment in our society, and to identify and implement real, tangible approaches at our institutions to continue tackling these challenges.”

The UW System Task Force on Sexual Violence and Harassment (Task Force) report recommends training and professional development, survivor resources, policy changes, outreach and partnership, and continual assessment of campus climate.  President Cross will present report highlights at the upcoming Board of Regents meeting on December 8.   Below are some of the recommendations in the Task Force report:

  • Systemwide sexual violence and harassment training for all employees and students.  Training will be primarily based online to help ensure it is accessible for everyone, and can be completed easily and timely.  Training topics include healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and the Campus SaVE Act.  With President Cross’ prior approval, training for students is already underway.  Employee training must be completed by the end of the current academic year.
  • Development of a UW System website that connects victims of sexual violence or harassment with campus support services, such as counseling and medical assistance, reporting information, and other resources.  It will also serve as a clearinghouse for System policies, procedures and data, as well as state and federal laws, other reports, and research.  The site is expected to launch by the end of 2016.
  • A new comprehensive Board of Regents’ policy, which consolidates formerly separate sexual violence and harassment policies and will serve as a template to assist UW institutions in efficiently adopting consistent policies across the UW System.  The Task Force also recommends revising the existing policy on consensual relationships to help mitigate potential conflicts when there is a real or perceived conflict of interest and power differential.
  • Creation of an inter-educational collaborative effort bringing together educational stakeholders from K-12 schools, technical colleges, private colleges, and the UW System to discuss and share research and approaches to address sexual violence and harassment.

In July 2014, President Cross charged the Task Force with leading and coordinating systemwide efforts to strengthen the UW System’s capacity to prevent sexual violence and harassment, and provide safe classroom, living and campus environments across the UW System and adjacent campus communities.

The Task Force included representatives from every UW System institution and UW System Administration.  It was comprised of students, faculty, and administrators, and was cross-disciplinary, with members from areas such as counseling and health services, legal, Title IX offices, LGBTQ, communications, student services, law enforcement, disability services, and human resources.



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