University announces new policy, survey results regarding sexual misconduct

    Members of the Northwestern community received an email early Monday morning announcing an update in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the release of the 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct results.

    The survey was distributed early last spring to the Northwestern community, with nearly 3,000 students responding – only 15 percent of those who received the survey. The study yielded many interesting findings. For example, while 52 percent of respondents indicated they knew where to get help on campus if they or a friend were sexually assaulted, 65 percent indicated they did not understand what actually happened once a claim of sexual assault or misconduct was reported.

    The collected surveys were analyzed by the Office of Student Affairs Assessment in addition to a committee compiled of students, staff and faculty.

    Adopted in 2014, Northwestern’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct addressed the way the University handles Title IX cases, provided outlined procedures and resources regarding sexual misconduct cases, outlined law enforcement procedures and included both medical and confidential contacts for those seeking further information.

    Revisions in the policy seek to clarify the university’s dedication to “to balancing the principles of Title IX while preserving its commitment to free expression and academic freedom,” wrote President Schapiro in the community-wide email.

    The email highlighted the release of an updated Title IX website available with new resources and materials, with a more “user-friendly” platform. Additionally, Northwestern is developing an online Title IX education system to inform faculty, staff and graduate students of the opportunities available to protect themselves, others and “comply with the law and University policy.”

    Both the updated policy on sexual misconduct and the survey report are available online.

    “Making Northwestern a secure and welcoming place where all members of our community are treated appropriately and respectfully is a top priority of the University,” wrote Schapiro.


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