Study Finds Extremely High Rates of Campus Sexual Assault

A January 2016 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that during the 2014-2015 school year a shocking 10.3 percent of women surveyed at the undergraduate level had been victims of sexual assault. The sample size of women included 15,000 female students from nine different universities. According to the findings of the survey it is clear that campuses have a long way to go with respect to reducing and eliminating the number of sexually violent crimes and incidents of violence towards women on their campuses.

Scott Berkowitz, President of the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (“RAINN”) called the survey findings “alarming” in an interview with Yahoo! News, and noted that insights gained by the study revealed that rates of sexual assault among non-heterosexual female students were “significantly higher” than among heterosexual students. On a somewhat positive note for the potential reduction of these incidents, Berkowitz also mentioned the study showed that the rates of assault at the school with the worst statistics were five times higher than that with the best, which showed that prevention programs, strong leadership, and holding offenders accountable has a significant effect on the number of assaults on a particular campus.

Surveys such as the one conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics are mandatory as part of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (“SaVE”), which seeks to provide greater protections for students and employees on college and university campuses who are at increased risk of sexual assault. In addition to mandatory statistics reporting, Campus SaVE also requires education and training aimed at reducing the number of assaults on campuses across the country. Since Congress enacted the Campus SaVE legislation in fall 2014 campuses have scrambled to implement more detailed training programs in order to comply with the Act’s requirements.

Prior to Congress enacting Campus SaVE, Syntrio began formulating a training program aimed at reducing the incidents of violence against women on college campuses. Syntrio’s Campus Aware online training program is designed to meet the mandatory requirements of Campus SaVE, and addresses Title IX concerns. It also addresses important subjects including sexual harassment and violence, consent, and bystander intervention. The material also instructs members of the campus community to how to respond to and prevent sexual violence.

Syntrio is committed to helping colleges and universities avoid the disasters associated with sexually violent incidents occurring on campus. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your institution.  Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our prevention of campus violence courses member to follow us on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on ethics and compliance issues that may impact your institution!

 

University of Minnesota Athletic Director Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Scandal

Citing “too much to drink” and “behav[ing] badly towards nice people,” University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, per a report.  According to the story, the University received two separate complaints of harassment on behalf of University employees recently. Both claimed that Norwood acted inappropriately at a recent University event. Unsurprisingly, Norwood told ESPN.com “he’s embarrassed by his actions” and “sent inappropriate texts.”

Teague has been the University Athletic Director since 2012. During his tenure he oversaw a major men’s football and basketball program and a countless number of other successful amateur athletics programs.  Teague’s scandal is just the latest in a long line of University employee harassment [and worse] scandals, including the one at Penn State nearly five years ago that led to the arrest of Jerry Sandusky and the resignation of famous football coach Joe Paterno. 

Lawsuit Likely to Follow

Now that Teague has admitted to acting inappropriately, it is only a matter of time before the accusers will file a lawsuit. The University will face costly litigation that will undoubtedly tarnish the reputation of the institution. This comes less than a year after the Campus SaVE Act went into effect, requiring institutions receiving federal funding to conduct training courses aimed at preventing violent acts against women. Although Teague’s actions appear non-violent in intent, harassing behavior such as Teague is accused of can lead to further incidents if allowed to persist in a University environment.

Harassment Training Courses Aimed at Universities Can Prevent Situations Like this

Syntrio provides cost-effective online training courses to colleges and universities across the country. Our proven methods of integrating real-life scenarios such as the Teague situation discussed above with hypothetical situations are engaging and educational. Additionally, Syntrio provides a tailored course aimed at preventing campus violence.

Syntrio is committed to helping campuses of all sizes eliminate sexual [and other] harassment across the board, and therefore provides harassment in the workplace courses that are cognizant of the value of time to modern institutions of higher learning. Contact  www.syntrio.com for more information about our HR Compliance courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance issues that may impact your company!

 

College Graduations mark the end of “The Year of Sexual Assault”

As spring came to an end a few days ago and the calendar transitioned to summer, and that transition ends another season of college graduations filled with speeches of hope for the future. Unfortunately, this past academic year was marred by challenges for students, as a rash of sexual assaults on campus plagued women across the country. Therefore, many of the speeches were reflective on the negatives of the past 11 months, rather than inspiration for the future. But with the problems on college campuses comes a new hope that new laws like the Campus SaVE Act will reduce the number of sexual assaults and violent campus crimes going forward to 2015-2016 and beyond.

Training Programs Essential to Avoidance

Studies have shown that educational training programs have a positive impact on reducing the number of sexually violent crimes on college campuses. Accordingly, last year the federal legislature amended the Jeanne Cleary Act to enact the Campus SaVE Act, which included several new training requirements to be imposed on institutions of higher learning.

Some of the training requirements include instructing students and faculty on what constitutes domestic violence, and how to stop it. Moreover, students and faculty are to be provided training on how to implement programs to promote positive bystander intervention, such as going out in groups and keeping a close eye on campus colleagues when social situations call for it. Finally, training courses teach students and employees how to “date smart” within the campus community and always be prepared for the possibility that a potential mate may have ulterior motives that could lead to violence.

Burgeoning Movement of Survivors Speaking Out

The past year has shown an increase in the number of sexual assault survivors on campus becoming activists for the cause to prevent other women from falling victim to such crimes. However, since student life on campus is only 4 years these strong women must eventually graduate from campus and become alumnae. Therefore, it is extremely important to teach student leadership and the fact that it is perfectly okay to discuss experiences (good and bad) while training students that it is okay to keep reported incidents confidential if the student or employee feels that is the course of action they would like to take. Again, awareness is education.

Syntrio is committed to reducing the number of sexually violent crimes on college campuses by institutions of higher learning while maintaining compliance with state and federal laws and commitment to the utmost ethical standards. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our prevention of campus violence courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your facility!

 

Campus Violence needs to be at the Forefront of University Agenda

While much of recent media attention has been focused on racial tensions stemming from the racist chants of a University of Oklahoma fraternity member on board a bus, the fact remains that one of the most pressing issues facing members of campus communities is the prevention of sexually violent crimes, specifically those committed against women. Sadly, this is a growing problem that appears to receive the most coverage when a member of a university athletic team is involved. The problem is simply far more reaching than that.

With New Legislation Comes New Training Requirements

Last fall the Campus SaVE Act took effect. This legislation reforms the Jeanne Cleary Act and the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”). Key components of the Campus SaVE Act include a requirement that all students and employees receive education on the prevention of sexually violent crimes on campus, including domestic violence. If your institution is not already training all incoming students and employees on stalking, rape, date rape, domestic violence and other violent crimes it is time that you start.

Legislators Visiting Campuses to Survey Compliance

Members of the legislature have recently begun visiting campuses to survey compliance with the new requirements and promote the positive impact that SaVE’s new requirements will have on campus culture. Just last week U.S. Senator Kirsten Gllibrand hosted a discussion aimed at combating sexual violence on campuses in America. Indeed, as the problem of sexually related violence on campuses grows nationally more and more legislators are taking notice and making the reduction of this violence a key point of their agenda.

Syntrio’s Prevention of Campus Violence Course is Aimed at Reducing Violent Incidents on Campus

In addition to complying with the requirements of Campus SaVE, Syntrio has recently released an online training course that takes real-world scenarios and instructs students and university employees on how to avoid getting into a situation wherein abuse or violence may occur. Indeed, by educating members of the campus community on how to engage in bystander intervention and reliance on other members of the community we aim to help institutions prevent violent crimes before they occur.

When Crimes Occur on Campus the Entire Community is Impacted

When a woman is raped on campus or is a victim of a stalking incident a culture of fear is perpetuated within the entire community. Clearly the victims must be protected, but there is a far broader range of implications for the community as a whole. By educating students and employees on preventing these very incidents the community becomes more close knit and rallies around one another, thereby promoting a positive culture within the campus.

Syntrio’s representatives are ready to show you more about our new prevention of campus violence course. If you feel you would like a program tailored to your specific facility and specific issues therein we can create a custom course for you.  Contact www.syntrio.com for more information and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your institution!

 

Now is the Time for Universities to Implement Proactive Solutions to Sexually Violent Crimes on Campus

A recent string of allegations on college campuses has again called into question the safety of members of campus communities across the country. While the recent incidents have highlighted the involvement of athletes and fraternity members, the stark reality is that these incidents have become high profile due to the level of accountability that is inherent for members of recognized organizations. For the general campus community there are far greater dangers than fraternity parties or chance encounters with athletes (not to say that any sort of misconduct is justifiable in any way).

Universities Slowly Beginning to Take Proactive Steps to End Sexual Violence

A recent Yahoo! article highlights the steps taken by several institutions to reduce incidents of sexually violent crimes on their campuses. For example, the University of Virginia is now considering new courses on sexual violence, and is taking recommendations from members of its campus community. At Brown University, the administration has evaluated its handling of complaints in “traumatic situations.”

While the aforementioned steps appear to be in the right direction, in reality they fall short of the requirements of the Campus SaVE Act and other legislation that recently went into effect. These laws require institutions of higher learning not only to report incidents of sexual and domestic violence, but also to provide education to students, faculty, and other members of the campus community on prevention of these types of crimes. At present it is difficult to tell how many colleges and universities are complying with this requirement.

According to the Yahoo! article, at Dartmouth, a four-year, mandatory sexual violence program has gone into effect. This program teaches members of the community about the dangers of campus crimes by housing a professor in “residence” at each of the dormitories in order to interact with students and advise them on prevention strategies and other useful tools. Such an expansive program is certainly the right line of thought, yet its reach may be limited to those members of the community who actually live on campus. This is where online training comes into play.

Online Training is the Cost-Effective and Time-Sensitive Solution for Reaching the Greatest Number of Students and Employees

Every student and faculty member on a college campus is equipped with a computer and access to the internet, either personally or in public. By implementing our prevention of campus violence courses (fully customizable to suit your institutional needs) you will be able to distribute the content to the members of your campus and begin widespread training and prevention programs immediately.

Syntrio’s one-hour course focuses on not only the information required by law, but provides real-life scenarios that are relatable to the college student or university employee. The goal of the course is to put students and faculty in a position to avoid incidents before they occur and foster a sense of community and bystander intervention into your campus. By educating those most likely to fall victim to sexually violent crimes, training unites the campus community to rally around prevention.  Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our workplace violence prevention courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your institution!