Improving Campus Response to Sexual Assault and
RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) recognize that
the faculty have a crucial role in fostering awareness of sexual violence and supporting students and other members of the campus community impacted by sexual violence;
and be it further
RESOLVED: That ASCSU state its support of Title IX and encourage faculty to engage in trainings
as well as conversations with students, administrators, staff and local partners to help create a climate that ensures sexual violence is treated with the utmost urgency and sensitivity; and be it further
RESOLVED: That ASCSU call on all campus Presidents and Senates to review current sexual violence policies to guarantee they reflect newly emerging exemplary practices and specify clear reporting structures; and be it further
RESOLVED: That ASCSU call for the Chancellor’s Office and campus Presidents to undertake campus climate studies that meet or exceed the new guidelines by the United States White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and that appropriate campus committees be assigned (or established) to regularly review campus climate study findings, make recommendations for campus improvements, and review of sexual violence prevention and education programs; and be it further
RESOLVED: That all committees assigned to review, develop, implement and/or oversee policies,
research, and trainings include faculty, staff, and significant representation of students; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, CSU campus Senate Executive Committees, CSU campus Vice Presidents of Student Affairs, CSSA President, CSU Campus ASI Presidents, CSU-ERFA President, and CSU Campus Title IX Coordinators.
RATIONALE: The Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) honors the courageous work of sexual violence survivors who have bravely spoken out to educate the wider community on the issue of sexual violence. This resolution is written in response to recent national and state attention given to the issue of campus sexual violence. This attention includes recent reports that “One in five women is
sexually assaulted while in college….and, although fewer and harder to gauge, college men, too, are victimized”
(See "Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Taskforce to Protect Students from Sexual Assault" (April 2014), available at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/report_0.pdf).” Other contexts for the resolutions include the U.S. President’s establishment of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on January 22, 2014, and emerging court and administrative policy statements that reaffirm Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which states that prevention of sexual violence (including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion and gender-based harassment) is an important component of equal access to education. And the resolution is also written in recognition of the California legislature SB 967 which includes assertion of the affirmative consent standard and its wider vision of "victim-centered" sexual assault response policies on California campuses that include comprehensive prevention programs, and requires administration on campus join forces with local rape crisis intervention professionals. The primary goal of this resolution is to encourage faculty and faculty senates to become active partners in creating safer campuses and to assert that faculty consultation (along with representation of student and staff voices) must be honored as campuses work through policies and trainings on these issues.
Any CSU policies and education programs need to draw upon exemplary practices in prevention, education, resource allocation and response. While there are many good sources for understanding these issues, these selected sources that might be of particular interest to faculty in informing their legal and ethical responsibilities on these issues:
- United States Department Of Education Office For Civil Rights April 2014 document “Questions And Answers On Title IX And Sexual Violence.” (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf)
- CSU Office the Chancellor Executive Order 1095 “Implementation of Title IX, VAWA/Campus SaVE act, and Related Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Legislations (http://www.calstate.edu/eo/EO-1095.html)
- American Association of University Professor’s statement “Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures.” This statement was “ approved in October 2012 by the Association’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession and its Subcommittee on Sexual Assault on Campus. It was adopted by the Association’s Council in November 2012.” (http://www.aaup.org/report/campus-sexual-assault-suggested-policies-and-procedures)
- American Association of University Women’s “Ending Campus Sexual Assault Tool Kit”. Faculty may be particularly interested in the portion of this tool kit entitled “5 Ways Faculty and Staff Can Fight Sexual Violence on Campus”
- Protect Students from Sexual Assault to “ provide information for students, schools, and anyone interested in finding resources on how to respond to and prevent sexual assault on college and university campuses and in our schools.” This site includes a full range of links to a wide range of organizations working on violence prevention. (https://www.notalone.gov)
Committees and campuses should listen seriously to the experience and healing needs of survivors, while also recognizing rights of all parties in any judicial process. The ASCSU appreciates that campuses will need to ensure that, clear guidance to fair campus disciplinary processes are available to all students, inform students of legal avenues and rights, as well as make sure safe, reliably confidential, and non-legalistic resources are available for students to explore concerns and questions regarding sexual violence.
ASCSU further recognizes that particular populations will have unique challenges and needs, and all climate studies, trainings, and policies need clear sensitivity to, and guidance for, undocumented, LGBTQI and international students. Also, information on policies and trainings must be readily available to all students, being sensitive to those with limited English proficiency or disabilities.
The CSU needs to recognize in its policies, unique and different circumstances posed by the diversity of campus settings if it is to truly have an impact on campus sexual violence. Urban campuses, rural campuses, commuter campuses, residential campuses, and campuses with large athletic programs will present different opportunities, needs and challenges in meeting the goal of creating safer environments. While state guidance will be necessary, localized realities must also be acknowledged and incorporated into effective policies, trainings and solutions.
While many types of on-going educational training programs will be needed, educational programs are especially needed that specifically target first year and transfer student orientations. Training should also be incorporated into leadership training for student organizations, and for student athlete leaders. Training for students
should incorporate concepts of affirmative consent, bystander intervention, campus health resources, and campus reporting policies.
Campuses should include, in consultations at all stages on these issues, offices and organizations that have been long term leaders and advocates on these topics. Many
campuses have a wealth of faculty and staff experts on this topic. This includes those
who have played historic and on-going leadership and who have been aiding survivors, responding to incidents, and raising general awareness about the issues of sexual violence on campus, such as campus student affairs professionals, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Resource Centers, campus sexual assault prevention teams and centers, along with psychological counseling faculty. Further, ASCSU encourages campuses to partner with local experts on sexual violence, asserting the important role of working closely with local sexual assault/rape crisis/domestic violence organizations and centers in campus discussions.
Approved Without Dissent– November 7, 2014