Statement from Texas' Six Chancellors on Campus Sexual Assault Legislation
We applaud the Texas Legislature, with a special recognition of Senators Kirk Watson and Joan Huffman and Representatives Carol Jeff Leach, Carol Alvarado, J.M. Lozano and John Zerwas for authoring legislation during the 85th Session that addressed the very important issue of campus sexual misconduct.
Our Systems stand committed to creating a safe environment for students and employees across our institutions. The legislation offered during the 85th Session, some of which passed and is now before Governor Abbott, complements what we currently do on our campuses related to allegations of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and datingviolence.
Our institutions will maintain our robust reporting and support mechanisms to cover instances of sexual misconduct and policies to address the critical issues that arise in these situations. These practices and policies cover several important areas, including:
- Support and counseling services for survivors through a variety of outlets, such as campus counseling and psychological services, silent witness programs, and community partnerships;
- Awareness, prevention and education initiatives, like bystander intervention initiatives, peer educator training, outreach workshops, and participation in national efforts to put an end to sexual misconduct on college campuses;
- Coordinated response protocols to reports of sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, and unwanted sexual contact, involving entities such as our equal opportunity services offices, Title IX coordinators and offices, and campus police departments to ensure a fair and equitable process for all students involved; and
- Professional training for employees and students that covers university policies related to sexual misconduct, as well as information on how to speak up when incidents of sexual harassment, relationship violence, or sexual misconduct are observed or suspected.
As Chancellors, we are responsible to our students and employees to ensure our campuses are safe. We stand committed to working with the Texas Legislature, survivor groups and others in the interim to ensure that our sexual misconduct policies are reviewed on an annual basis and that our reporting and compliance are even more efficient and robust.
University of Texas System
Texas A&M University System
University of Houston System
University of North Texas System
Texas Tech University System
Texas State University System
This news release is posted online at: https://www.utsystem.edu/news/2017/05/30/statement-texas-six-chancellors-campus-sexual-assault-legislation