March 18, 2008

Case Western Reserve University at forefront of sexual conduct awareness

students working together

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but Case Western Reserve University's Task Force on Sexual Conduct works to raise campus consciousness about sexual violence throughout the year.

Case Western Reserve provides more than comprehensive police and security services. Students, faculty and staff who may experience inappropriate sexual conduct can expect support, including counseling, medical services and other assistance, from the university throughout the process. In the aftermath of a sexual assault, the university also accommodates requests for alternative living, working and academic arrangements as available and appropriate.

In addition, the university and its Task Force on Sexual Conduct support several educational programs that address sexual assault:

  • The physical education and athletics department offers a personal safety awareness course every semester.
  • Campus security provides Rape Aggression Defense, or R.A.D., self-defense classes for women.
  • The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women's annual project on Men and Gender has featured Men Can Stop Rape, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that specifically engages men in the prevention of sexual violence
  • A sexual misconduct bathroom poster campaign
  • The Students Meeting about Risk and Responsibility Training, or SMARRT Program, not only educates members on rules associated with Greek organizations but also sexual assault prevention.
  • Student orientation includes dramatic dialogue skits that address sexual misconduct.
  • Members of the university's Peer Helper network and Residence Life and Greek Life staff are trained in sexual assault and acquaintance rape prevention, among other issues.

The Task Force on Sexual Conduct itself has led initiatives that include informational bathroom stall posters, respect cell phone charms, brochures on sexual harassment and consensual relationships, communications to parents of new students and a sexual conduct Web site.

The group, a coalition of university departments and organizations, was formed in May 2005. It advocates for a safe campus, where ethical relationships and mutual respect—among students, faculty and staff—are expected and encouraged.

In September 2007, Lynn Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic programs, and Glenn Nicholls, vice president for student affairs, charged the task force with reviewing the university's current sexual assault policy. The new draft policy has been submitted to leadership for consideration. Details are forthcoming.

The task force meets monthly to plan events, collaborate on projects and share resources. Additional information is available online.

For more information contact Meredith Holmes, 216.368.0582.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 18, 2008 11:02 AM | News Topics: Administration, Campus Life, Faculty, Public Policy/Politics, Staff, Students, features

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