Baylor University Regents Approve Action Plan to Address Sexual Violence
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Media Contact: Tonya B. Lewis (254) 710-4656
WACO, Texas (Feb. 12, 2016) — Baylor University’s Board of Regents today received and approved an administrative action plan to prevent acts of sexual violence on campus and to improve treatment and services for all those impacted by interpersonal violence.
The plan reflects a commitment to help eliminate incidents of interpersonal violence on the Baylor campus, ensure that incidents of interpersonal violence are reported and investigated promptly, and ensure that the educational, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of victims are given prompt and priority attention.
Specifically, the University will:
- Dedicate immediate funding to increase the number of professional counseling staff offering services to students, ensuring that all students will have timely access to the counseling they need.
- Increase the quantity and quality of university space dedicated to counseling and the support of victims of interpersonal violence.
- Provide strong measures to immediately address the needs of students who prompt a Title IX investigation, ensuring that those who report sexual, relationship or gender-based harassment or violence can continue their education without impediment.
- Mandate annual Title IX training for all upper-class and graduate students, expanding the program presently provided to all incoming students.
- Guarantee that faculty and staff Title IX training will be required annually.
- Fully fund continuing education for all campus professionals who provide Title IX response, support and counseling to ensure awareness and adherence to nationally recognized trauma-informed practices in the field of interpersonal violence.
“We know we can and must do a better job to confront interpersonal violence in our campus community,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. “We will learn many things from the external review that has been commissioned by Baylor Regents, and that information will guide our future plans. In the meantime, these are important action steps we can take right now to improve our services to students impacted by sexual violence, and we intend to implement these steps immediately."
“Incidents of interpersonal violence on our campus break our hearts and contradict everything we believe as those who follow Christ,” said Richard S Willis, BBA ’81, MBA ’82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The administration provided us with a plan that responds immediately, directly and effectively to the needs of our students. We approved this program right away to ensure that sexual assault survivors, and those in our community with other critical counseling needs, have access to the best range of counseling services available. We know we have more work to do, and we will be eager to take further action once our independent external review is complete.”