Early on Wednesday, Dec. 15, USU Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Earl Morris was placed on administrative leave pending confirmation of information received earlier this week. This information included reprehensible recorded comments made to USU student-athletes. USU is seeking a copy of the recording.
The university recognizes this is a very serious matter and will take further action to ensure students are treated equitably when misconduct occurs and that survivors feel supported. The leader of the university’s police department must have the trust of the campus community.
The recorded comments are not consistent with the university’s values or the trainings provided on sexual misconduct at Utah State, nor do they reflect USU’s efforts to prevent sexual misconduct and reduce barriers to reporting. Students and employees should feel confident that when they report sexual misconduct, the university will respond without bias.
USU stands firm in its commitment to create a campus culture where individuals understand and practice sexual respect, and survivors of sexual assault are supported.
Over the last five years, the university has made a great deal of progress in its sexual misconduct prevention and response efforts, including instituting mandatory prevention education for students and additional education for student-athletes, hiring two staff positions in the Office of Equity to support students, updating policies and procedures, creating informational materials to better inform the campus community, introducing the Upstanding program, conducting three campus climate surveys to gauge students’ experiences and university progress, and participating in the annual Start by Believing campaign. Additionally, in January 2020, USU Police created a specialized unit that includes a confidential advocate from the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Office and a dedicated law enforcement detective to respond to reported incidents of sex crimes and domestic violence.
For more information about how the university supports those who experience sexual misconduct, please visit sexualrespect.usu.edu.
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications
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