Sexual assualt task force lists recommendations
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 22:02
Miami University’s Task Force for the Prevention of Sexual Assault released a report Jan. 18 that includes five recommendations.
Of the five recommendations, the initial three take precedence, calling the university to implement a campus-wide campaign to enhance a culture of safety, respect and inclusion. The task force next placed importance on implementing campus-wide educational programs focusing on sexual assault prevention and risk-reduction. Third, it asks for an enhancement of current support for victims and judgment of perpetrators.
The last two recommendations include identifying a sustained source of funding for the programs and initiatives that are being proposed, in addition to coordinating these efforts across all Miami campuses.
University President David Hodge commissioned the the task force, which is comprised of various faculty, staff members and students, this past fall, following an incident where a flier promoting rape was found in a residence hall bathroom. Rebecca Baudry, director of student wellness and member of the task force, explained why the task force was commissioned
“[The task force was commissioned] to address Miami community concerns about sexual assault and evaluate current efforts,” Baudry said. “The community town hall meetings helped serve as catalyst and as a voice from the Miami community.”
In addition, Baudry commented on its purpose.
“This is the beginning of renewed efforts and commitment to keeping Miami students safe,” Baudry said. “The effect of this report will be the opportunity for students to be more involved in creating a culture of respect.”
Through this undertaking, the task force hopes students will hear its message and be willing to aid in the effort.
“It is a message of commitment, and that student safety is a priority,” Baudry said. “The message is that Miami leadership cares about the collective student experience as much as it cares about the individual student. The message is that when students, faculty, staff and leaders come together, we can make big change. We will have created an environment where each student can stand up to sexual assault and say, ‘not here, not at Miami.’”
Junior Kate Van Fossen, vice president of Women Against Violence and Sexual Assault (WAVES) and member of the task force, has been one of the foremost students in the effort to put an end to sexual assault on campus. She said she is especially passionate about the cause and making sure that campus awareness keeps increasing.
“I am excited to see our campus-wide campaign come together,” Van Fossen said. “We are focusing on rising up against rape supportive culture and coming together as a community to take a stand against sexual assault with both a video and visual campaign.”
HAWKS Peer Health Educators put on an event, “Can I Kiss You?” Feb. 4 in an effort to change campus culture about sexually intimate relationships. Member of HAWKS, senior Brittany Walker, said the event is just one of the ways students can educate themselves.
“The whole idea is about asking for consent,” Walker said. “Today, especially on college campuses, we kind of just assume what others want, we don’t ask. Everyone should ask for consent.”