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Student Sexual Misconduct: Important Information for Faculty, Staff, and Students

August 27, 2014

Dear members of the UVa community:

All of us work together to create a caring community at UVa, one in which our students can live and learn here without fear of violence or harassment. Yet we know that incidents of violence—including sexual violence—do sometimes occur. We are taking several new measures at UVa to confront this problem.

We have adopted a policy that requires most employees to report an instance of student sexual misconduct if it is disclosed to them. Under the new policy, each faculty and staff member is now considered either a Responsible Employee or a Confidential Employee for reporting purposes. Most employees are considered Responsible Employees and thereby are now required to report any information learned about an incident of sexual misconduct to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Employees who are in health-care or counseling positions are considered Confidential Employees, and they are not required to report to the Title IX Coordinator.

Giving students these two options is an essential feature of the new reporting process. We know that when a student experiences sexual misconduct and wants to talk to someone about it, the first conversation is important. Defining faculty and staff roles will help students decide whom to approach when seeking help. Some students may prefer to talk with a confidential source first, while others may want to pursue a more formal reporting approach.

We have developed a website at that provides important information about sexual violence and how to report it. If you are a faculty or staff member, I urge you to review the website now to understand whether you are a Responsible Employee or a Confidential Employee and to learn how to carry out your responsibilities. If you are a student, I urge you to review the student section of the website now so you are fully informed about the reporting procedures and understand where to go when disclosing details about an incident of sexual misconduct. The website includes numerous resources, including a reporting form, FAQs, scripts for guiding conversations, a list of Confidential Resources, and an easy-to-read infographic, "What You Need to Know."

To encourage bystander intervention that can help prevent sexual violence and assault, we have kicked off a campaign named "Not on Our Grounds." Our students have joined in this effort by producing a brief video, "Hoos Got Your Back."

Through these initiatives, we are continuing to build a more caring community at UVa. Thank you for your commitment to this effort.

Teresa A. Sullivan