"College and university presidents are firmly committed to providing safe, secure environments for their students, preventing incidents of sexual assaults from occurring, and responding to these incidents in ways that support survivors and hold offenders accountable. It will take some time to study all that the Task Force issued today. We valued the opportunity to meet with its members and appreciate the work it is doing to shine a light on the challenges of preventing and addressing campus sexual assaults and to search for solutions to a complex societal problem that starts well before students arrive at college.
Our institutions have established a range of practices to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus, including workshops on bystander intervention and healthy relationships, informational campaigns and other education programs. We are pleased to see the Task Force's focus on assisting this work, with recommendations such as federal trauma-informed training programs for campus and local law enforcement personnel.
When an institution becomes aware of a sexual assault incident, its response is guided by two core principles: protect the victim and be fair to both parties. We are covered by numerous laws and regulations dealing with sexual assault and take our obligations very seriously. Colleges and universities act as required by federal law, as well as human decency, to assist survivors of sexual assault by providing them with information on how to receive the services they need and by making those resources accessible.
We would welcome the chance to collaborate with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on the serious problem of sexual assaults on campus, which as the Task Force notes is a 'complicated, multi-dimensional problem with no easy or quick solutions.'"
MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪ firstname.lastname@example.org