The Department of Education released new Title IX rules pertaining to sexual assault on college campuses yesterday, and at 1:35 p.m. the same day, Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent an email statement to University of Wisconsin students, faculty and staff about the guidelines.
The new regulation more specifically defines sexual harassment — it now includes dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, along with sexual assault. It also requires schools to provide students accessible routes through which to report sexual harassment, and support measures to students after they’ve experienced harassment, among other measures. The full regulation is available at the Department of Education website.
Blank said UW already complies with most of these new rules, and their commitment to preventing sexual misconduct will not change.
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“First and foremost, we remain committed to preventing sexual misconduct, supporting survivors and investigating complaints in a timely, impartial manner that respects the due process rights of all involved,” Blank said.
The new regulation also includes several provisions about a victim’s right to due process. Blank said many UW policies already fall in line with these provisions, but UW, along with the University of Wisconsin System, will review them and make changes as needed.
Blank said their review will also pay attention to UW’s role in investigations and misconduct proceedings when the incident happens off campus or outside a university program, though the new regulation says a university is only responsible for incidents on campus or during a university program.
Executive Director of University Health Services Jake Baggott and Title IX Coordinator Lauren Hasselbacher chair The Campus Advisory Group on Sexual Misconduct, which Blank said will continue to support students.
“We will continue to provide resources to survivors, including confidential counseling, academic accommodations and protective measures,” Blank said. “Our goal is to ensure that survivors have the support they need to continue their education. We encourage anyone who experiences sexual misconduct to reach out for that support.”