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A renewed commitment to preventing sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

The 2017-18 academic year marks a renewed commitment by our entire UC Berkeley community to the ongoing effort to strengthen our shared values; make our campus a safe place to study and work; and eliminate the incidence and impact of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and gender bias. We welcome your support and engagement with this effort.

Recent years have seen vibrant growth in campus resources devoted to addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment and its impact. As we as a community develop more shared knowledge around this issue, we grow stronger as an academic, living and working community.

A comprehensive effort toward prevention is essential to helping the campus address these issues. As you know, Berkeley requires mandatory in-person and online sexual violence and harassment prevention education for all new students. Faculty and staff participate in mandatory training sessions, with extra training for senior administrators.

These requirements are only the beginning. There is always more work to accomplish in preventing campus sexual violence and sexual harassment. It is up to each of us–as individuals in a large community–to practice respect, care, and consent in every interaction; to safely address harmful behaviors among our peers; and to support survivors.

Berkeley’s survivor support website has valuable information about what constitutes sexual violence and sexual harassment. On that site, you can learn about how to respond and support others. You can access urgent support and information regarding key campus and community resources. The PATH to Care Center leads the campus prevention and survivor support efforts. The Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, led by the campus Title IX Officer, focuses on response and investigations. We encourage you to learn about these and other partners in our rich campus network of prevention and response programs.

This year we are implementing the latest of the new University of California systemwide policies regarding the reporting of and response to incidents of sexual harassment, violence, or discrimination. These policies pertain to students, staff and faculty, and are designed to increase fairness and transparency.

As part of our continued efforts to deepen our knowledge, we will be working with the campus community to conduct a major new survey focusing on awareness and access to campus resources around sexual violence and sexual harassment. This survey of students, staff and faculty is just one of the recommendations we are implementing from last year’s report by the Chancellor’s Senate/Administration Committee on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. The goal of the survey is to better tune our prevention and response efforts to the needs of the community, and to be able to benchmark our progress over time. We will be reaching out to many groups on campus for their advice and input as this project progresses.

We are eager to hear feedback from the campus community on what is working well and what areas we can improve upon. Please feel welcome to offer your thoughts by emailing svshadvisor@berkeley.edu. Working together, we can build a campus culture that sets a high standard of accountability and mutual support and respect.

Carol Christ
Chancellor

Sharon Inkelas
Special Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor on Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment

Denise Oldham
Title IX Officer and Director, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination

Mari Knuth-Bouracee
Director, PATH to Care Center