Utah State University has provided additional information to clarify recommendations from an internal inquiry on how the university handled information about Title IX compliance issues regarding former USU student Torrey Green.
The original recommendations were released in late August 2016 and provided the blueprint over the next year for addressing sexual assault in the USU campus community. In addition to the recommendations and action items provided to the public in summer 2016, USU has provided the finding associated with each recommendation, as well as an update on our effort to address each recommendation.
This additional information is being provided as part of an agreement with the Salt Lake Tribune after the newspaper requested access to all documents associated with the inquiry, which USU has maintained falls under attorney/client privilege.
"As we move into fall semester, we're looking forward to bringing closure to this issue and putting our time and energy into the important work of sexual violence prevention," said Noelle E. Cockett, USU President.
"USU does not tolerate sexual violence in our campus community," said Cockett. "Since the summer of 2016, USU has begun a dramatic shift in our campus culture and how we approach sexual assault."
The university has changed how information about sexual misconduct is addressed, particularly when it is reported anonymously, third-hand, or even as a side-comment in a conversation. USU has also launched an extensive prevention effort, including:
- Investment of resources in the Upstanding bystander intervention training: nearly 3,000 students have been trained in this program since fall 2017, and its reach will continue to grow this year.
- USU now requires incoming students to go through an online sexual assault prevention training. Those who don’t cannot register for future semesters.
- The university has invested in two positions dedicated to outreach and prevention, one in the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity office and one in Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence office. We have also invested in additional staff in Title IX oversight as well as in SAAVI.
- USU recently announced changes in fraternity and sorority life to address sexual violence and increase transparency when it occurs. USU has hired a new fraternity and sorority life coordinator to implement these changes and monitor the organizations.
- USU implemented a student survey in April 2017 to better understand our students’ experiences with sexual misconduct, particularly nonconsensual sexual contact. This data has helped improve prevention and response efforts. USU also conducts regular focus groups to gauge the effectiveness of our efforts.
The impacts of sexual misconduct are not limited to those directly involved, and one incident can reverberate through the lives of students and threaten academics and future careers. Our campus is becoming a community of Upstanders, who stand up to prevent harm to others in the Aggie family. But when an individual makes a choice that violates USU policy and harms another, USU will respond appropriately, signaling to everyone that USU does not tolerate misconduct.
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