Dear Miami Community,
Last semester, I commissioned a Task Force for the Prevention of Sexual Assault. I am pleased to share the report the Task Force has prepared and to endorse its recommendations.
The report reviews national trends and Miami’s past and current efforts to prevent sexual assault and to support those affected by it. The report offers five recommendations. I want to ensure that the three major ones – strengthening a safe, respectful, and supportive campus community; targeting educational efforts to prevent sexual assault; and evaluating and enhancing our direct response to incidents – begin immediately and have the support necessary for long-term sustainability.
First, Miami will launch a campuses-wide campaign to unite us in a more respectful, inclusive, and supportive culture in all aspects of university life. A university-wide committee will lead the effort, under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity. This committee will report directly to the president.
Second, we will create and support a standing Committee on the Prevention and Response to Sexual Assault. Led by the incoming Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, this committee will develop more comprehensive, effective, and continuing educational programs and resources. The committee will report directly to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Third, the standing Committee will conduct a comprehensive review of all of our existing resources for support of victims of sexual assault. The goal is to ensure that Miami provides coordinated, visible, and accessible programs that meet the highest standards for supporting those in need and for holding perpetrators of sexual assault fully accountable.
To be successful, this effort requires all of us to share responsibility for ensuring that Miami maintains an exemplary culture. It is more than a task force or one-time event. It is a direct reflection of the values Miami holds dear, as reflected in our Values Statement — that we “respect the dignity of other persons … the right of others to hold and express disparate beliefs … honesty, integrity, and the importance of moral conduct.”
I urge everyone to read the report, consider the important role each of us plays in advancing its goals, and offer our reactions and suggestions for the committees and the incoming coordinator to consider as they begin implementing these recommendations. Please send your communications to Rebecca Baudry Young, director of student wellness and a member of the task force, at email@example.com.
I want to thank the members of the task force for their diligent and thoughtful work.