Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Across the country, universities and colleges are working hard to prevent sexual assaults from occurring on campuses. And while Bowling Green State University's campuses are very safe comparatively, no college campus, including ours, is immune from sexual assault and criminal misconduct. Indeed, when our community raised concerns about this issue last spring, we listened to those concerns and took action.
On May 1, I appointed a Task Force on Sexual Assault comprised of students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate to address this issue. I asked the members to review our Title IX and sexual assault policies and procedures, benchmark our efforts against best practices across the country, and provide recommendations to improve our policies, campus culture, and education and prevention efforts. I am pleased to report that the task force completed its work and that BGSU will be implementing all of the recommendations.
This important work has already begun and will include adding staffing and resources to support:
- Creating a new center focused on sexual violence prevention, advocacy and wellness
- Additional and more comprehensive education and prevention efforts, including the hiring of a male engagement coordinator
- Widespread promotion and increased funding for the "It's On Us" campaign and its bystander intervention techniques.
- Mandatory training for students, faculty and staff
- Improved reporting, investigative and hearing processes to ensure we are empathetic, thorough, fair and respectful to all parties
- A new sexual assault and conduct policy that supports an environment of reporting
- More robust support services for survivors
- Opportunities for our University community to provide ongoing feedback as BGSU tackles this evolving issue
I want to thank the members of the task force for their hard work and dedication over the summer. This was a difficult and complex project, and I am extremely pleased with the progress made and the direction we're taking.
I hope you will take the time to review all the task force recommendations and the resources we have made available on our website. You will be hearing much more about our efforts in the coming weeks and throughout the year.
Making sure our students, faculty, staff and visitors work and learn in a safe and welcoming environment is a top priority for all of us at BGSU. Preventing sexual assault is a critical part of that commitment. When a sexual assault occurs, it's a crime perpetrated on the survivor and an attack on our entire Falcon Family. As a community, we must all come together to prevent sexual assault. It's on us.
Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.