Editor’s Note: UTSA Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students LT Robinson sent this email to UTSA faculty, staff and students.
(June 17, 2019) -- Dear Roadrunners,
As part of our commitment to bring you updates about the work of the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct, I am writing regarding the on-going efforts of three task forces: Training & Development, Data Governance & Reporting, and Programming & Outreach.
Training & Development: NASPA Culture of Respect
This spring, our campus leadership team completed the NASPA Culture of Respect assessment to fully examine our institution’s sexual violence and misconduct prevention programs, policies, and procedures. The summary outcomes report was received in May, and the three task forces will create action steps based on these results and those collected from the Ice Miller and Baker Tilly reports. Action steps will also align with the CORE Blueprint, comprised of six key proactive pillars of the Culture of Respect, which focuses on challenging and removing unwanted behaviors on campus.
An on-campus visit from the national Culture of Respect collective office is scheduled for today, Monday, June 17. The visit includes several meetings with our teams to provide technical assistance and professional guidance on action steps for the upcoming academic year. The office will continue to assist in the implementation of our refined efforts with progress reviewed in December 2020.
Data Governance & Reporting: Annual Reporting
As part of our university-wide effort to increase awareness and promote transparency, the Equal Opportunity Services/Title IX Office will begin publishing an annual report providing comprehensive data from investigations handled by their office. This new process of reporting to the community will help UTSA to be as open as possible regarding institutional progress on matters regarding sexual assault/harassment and discrimination within the constraints of confidentiality and FERPA regulations.
Aggregated statistics of all the complaints received by EOS—from incidents occurring both on and off-campus—will be included, as well as information regarding the outcomes of those complaints. The first report will be issued in September and cover the reporting year August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019. Data regarding the sexual assault investigations completed as a result of allegations raised over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year will be included in the report.
Programming and Outreach: Advocacy
We are excited to announce two new positions in the Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment. Cassandra Parada joins the office as a Student Advocate and will begin later this month. The Student Advocate assists students who have been victims of sexual violence and/or intimate partner violence by providing confidential supportive services including crisis intervention, safety planning, and education on options for reporting and emotional support. Students will not need to report incidents to authorities to receive assistance from the advocate, and all meetings and services are confidential. The office is also hiring a Prevention Specialist who will create educational campaigns and host workshops about sexual violence, misconduct, consent, and healthy relationships. Please contact the office for more information on these two new service areas.
Speaking for our team members, I am grateful for the dedication and focus that our entire university community has placed on this important issue. Please look for updates as our team’s efforts continue. I acknowledge that our heightened awareness around sexual violence prevention may bring additional issues to light. Our university has a team of talented professionals with the expertise and knowledge to investigate information as it becomes available, and the team continues to address sexual violence on our campus.
We can all take steps to contribute to campus-wide community safety by being aware of available support and services. As an important reminder, faculty and staff are required to report any disclosure of sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator. Therefore, it is important to tell students about your obligation to report prior to hearing a disclosure and to provide them with options: visiting the Student Advocate for support, or reporting to either the Equal Opportunity Services/Title IX Office or the UTSA Police Department. I encourage you to review the resources available on the Safe Campus website and familiarize yourself with referral options.
Chair, President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct
Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students