Sexual Awareness Month

Thank YOU for coming out today in anticipation of Sexual Assault Awareness month. We appreciate your support and concern. You know, as chancellor you worry about a lot of things: financing the university, keeping tuition costs down, raising graduation rates, and yes, even parking. At the very top of the list is keeping our students safe, with a major emphasis on doing everything we can to prevent sexual violence.

College should be some of the best years of a young person’s life and the last thing we want is for anyone to have their college experience marred by trauma. We owe it to our students to do everything we can to prevent sexual violence, especially by creating awareness and educating people about what constitutes sexual violence and when it’s most likely to occur. We want to do everything we can to help our campus community recognize when it may be happening and encourage them to intervene before it does. And in the unfortunate event that something does happen, we want to ensure that any victims get the compassionate care, support, and understanding they need to get through it. We’re absolutely committed to the prevention and ultimate elimination of sexual violence by providing whatever programming we can to spread awareness.

To that end, we’ve sought the insights and ideas from student advisors about effective communication, messaging and training efforts. And we will always strive to create an environment in which there is zero tolerance for sexual violence. I personally believe it’s imperative that we provide a campus that is safe, that is supportive, that is vigilant, and that is doing its utmost to understand the causes and consequences of sexual violence.

This month is an important part of the larger conversation we’re having as both a campus community and as a society about sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct and how we end it. I want to thank everyone here doing their part to create awareness and advocate for prevention. You’re helping us send a critical message to our campus community.