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Addressing healthy relationships, sexual violence prevention at Augustana College

In recent years, the college’s response to sexual violence, sexual harassment, and issues related to sexual health has included:

Established a standing committee (Committee on Sexual Health and Violence Prevention), reporting to the administration, to coordinate programming on sexual health/violence prevention.

1. Invested in an evidence-based education by bystander intervention program.

2. Mandatory training regarding knowledge and awareness of Title IX for entire Augustana community.

• On campus, partnered with (Positive) +Impact student organization and the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention faculty committee.

• Utilized Symposium Day as a focal point of efforts to teach about consent.

• Promoted awareness of sexual assault through communication campaigns across campus.

• Enhanced programming during orientation through adoption of the “Speak About It” initiative both for incoming first-year students and for student staff.

• Provided Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention training to every athletic team and other groups at the college while promoting the program among other student organizations.

• The Greek new member period has incorporated bystander intervention training into its programming.

3. Implemented new Title IX procedures.

• Revised adjudication policies that place control of the process in the hands of the victim.

• Streamlined and improved reporting processes for victims of sexual violence, including multiple options for making disclosures through college, law enforcement and local community entities.

• Created and equipped a Title IX team with the commission not only to respond to issues as they arise, but also to help make Augustana a safer, healthier community.

• Provided specialized training for the Title IX team and for related groups that work to address sexual violence, such as hearing and appeals panels, separate from the Title IX team, that include about 30 members of the campus community. 

• Maintained, through Augustana’s Office of Public Safety and Police, adherence to all federal guidelines on reporting incidents of sexual violence.

• Reorganized the Dean of Students Office to coordinate responsibility for and investigation of all student disclosures of sexual violence and harassment.

• Maintained Augustana’s Title IX procedures even after new leadership of the United States Department of Education announced changes to Title IX in September 2017.

• Sought Board of Trustees review and response to the college’s Title IX policies and procedures.

• Improved and increased information about the college’s Title IX policies and procedures on the Augustana website, including a quick link at the footer of every page.

4. Developed resources to coordinate student awareness, support and advice on programming.

• Partnered with SafePath Survivor Resources and other community resources (working with faculty and staff) to leverage our efforts.

• Authorized and will fill a new position: Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator.

• The women’s and gender studies program has added contributing faculty members.

• Partnered with SafePath Survivor Resources to offer a course on victim advocacy.

• Sponsored Clothesline Project to increase student awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence.

• Sponsored Take Back the Night programming to increase student awareness of sexual assault.

• Conducted two HEDS Sexual Assault Campus Climate Surveys.

5. Addressed issues of sexuality and human health.

• Added new faculty member with primary expertise in sexuality and human health.

• Offering programming, events and speakers on the topics of sexuality and human health, as well as healthy relationships.

In addition to these actions of the college, in February 2018 the president appointed a Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention. Chaired by Dr. Jennifer Popple, the task force will assess, with the help of an outside expert, the adequacy of Augustana’s programs. The college authorized a new position to help coordinate and lead the college’s response to the task force’s recommendations.