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Sexual Misconduct: New UMD Policy/Procedures and Required Training

Dear University of Maryland community,

This is an update on actions by the University of Maryland to strengthen a learning and working environment that is free of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct.

Creating such an environment is the responsibility of every member of our 50,000-strong University community of students, faculty and staff.

The University recently published its new policy and procedures on sexual misconduct among students http://www.umd.edu/Sexual_Misconduct/policies-and-procedures/. The policy defines the proscribed conduct and mandates educational programs to heighten awareness and prevent sexual misconduct. The procedures describe how to report misconduct and how these complaints will be investigated and adjudicated.

Both comport with the guidelines issued by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, the agency charged with implementing the Title IX law on sex discrimination. The new policy and procedures are in effect on an interim basis while the University Senate reviews them. The new policy and procedures on sexual misconduct involving faculty and staff will be ready by end of this calendar year.

All students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a training program on sexual misconduct prevention.

The required online training for undergraduates will begin this week and must be completed by December 10, 2014. Students will receive an email with instructions on how to complete it.

The training focuses on (1) what constitutes sexual misconduct, (2) the consequences of engaging in sexual misconduct, (3) the reporting options and support resources available within and outside the campus, and (4) actions to reduce the risks of such misconduct. Later, the University will provide in-person bystander intervention training. Training for faculty and staff will be ready later this academic year.

The new website of UMD's new Office of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence has additional resource information: http://www.umd.edu/Sexual_Misconduct/. The director and UMD Title IX Officer is attorney Catherine A. Carroll.

I encourage you to take the "Rule of Thumb pledge," the centerpiece of the University's public awareness campaign: http://www.umd.edu/Sexual_Misconduct. You may also follow the campaign on Twitter@RuleofThumbUMD.

Each of us must assume responsibility and take action to prevent sexual misconduct. Together, we can do it.

Sincerely,
 
Wallace D. Loh
President