Dear Students and Colleagues:
I write today to announce the release of an interim Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. The new policy applies to all members of the University community, with separate procedures for reports against students and employees. The policy provides trauma-informed practices that encourage reporting and participation, incorporates due-process protections, and supports the University's ongoing efforts to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment on Grounds.
Preliminary planning for this policy began last spring. Nearly 600 individuals responded to the draft of a revised student policy we posted for public comment, and a summary of these comments can be found at the link provided. I appreciate the many individuals and groups who provided their candid feedback during the public comment period.
Executive summaries of changes to the policy are also available at the link below. We expect additional revisions to the policy in the coming months as we receive input and recommendations from internal and external reviews, including the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the Board of Visitors' independent review, and the President's Ad Hoc Group on Climate and Culture. Pending legislation from the Virginia General Assembly may also require further revisions to the policy. It is, however, essential that we have a revised policy in place now to serve the needs of our community and address current legal requirements under Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act.
Training for students and employees will be available in the near future. I urge you to review these important materials carefully, as our collective understanding and implementation of this new policy will enable us to effect meaningful and lasting change.
I am grateful for your broad support as we work together to make our University as safe as possible for everyone in our community.
Very truly yours,
Teresa A. Sullivan
Policy and Supporting Documents:
- Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence
- Executive Summary of Policy Changes for Students
- Executive Summary of Policy Changes for Employees
- Procedures for Reports Against Students
- Procedures for Reports Against Employees
- Resource and Reporting Guide for Students
- Resource and Reporting Guide for Employees
- Training, Education, and Prevention Programming for Sexual and Gender-based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence
- Response to Comments Received on Proposed Student Sexual Misconduct Policy