UMass announces sexual assault prevention efforts

Student Affairs and Campus Life updates student’s on sexual assault education efforts

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Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Sofi Shlepakov, Assistant News Editor

On Monday morning University of Massachusetts Amherst vice chancellor of student affairs and campus life Brandi Hephner LaBanc sent an email to the student body addressing efforts to prevent sexual assault in order to improve campus culture.

The email spoke on the adoption of the Survivor’s Bill of Rights which the Student Government Association has been working on. The bill can be found on the Title IX website.

“The Survivor’s Bill of Rights ensures that support system and resources are available to any student who experiences the trauma of sexual assault even if they choose not to formally report the incident,” the email read.

The email also explained that UMass sororities and fraternities will go through a series of trainings through RAINN, “the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.” This training is meant to provide foundational knowledge on sexual assault and will give “student leaders” in Greek Life training on how to intervene as a bystander in order to create a safe environment.

It concluded with the announcement that the university will be working with Comprehensive Investigations and Consulting (CIC) to investigate reports of sexual misconduct from the past seven years at UMass.

Reports from Sept. 1, 2014 will be reviewed up to the present day will be reviewed including: “sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or other gender-based offenses pursuant to Title IX of the Violence Against Women Act,” the email read.

Based on investigative findings, the CIC will then make recommendations on how to prevent sexual assault and the University will use the recommendations in order to “implement practices and procedures to prevent sexual assault and support survivors.”

The email sent by LaBanc thanked students for caring about campus environment and the commitment towards the University. “By coming together to address these difficult issues, collectively we are fostering a living and learning community defined by mutual respect and dignity.”

Sofi Shlepakov can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @SShlepakov.