To the UConn Community:
This past spring the Task Force for Combating Sexual Violence and Supporting our Students was formed. A draft report was produced in May, and during the summer it was shared with students who were outside of the taskforce for comment and feedback. The final report was edited to reflect many of those comments and is now final.
We are grateful for the efforts of the task force and for the thoughtfulness of their recommendations. We are eager to implement the recommendations they have provided. The final task force report and timeline for implementation of the recommendations are available for your review.
First, we would like to commend the students who choose to tell us their stories. Sexual violence is a reality for our university as well as universities across the country. As the report indicates, “Providing for the needs of our students and earning their trust is a responsibility that must be given the greatest seriousness.” We take that responsibility very seriously.
To that end, the Task Force’s recommendations are being accepted and the responsible offices will proceed with the following:
- Expand access to resources that provide immediate support and guidance for individuals impacted by sexual violence. This includes increased training for staff and faculty and more peer led resources (like Pack Ambassadors and VAWPP) to ensure direct response and support for students in need. Required trainings should be thoroughly enforced to ensure our greatest competency and compassion as a community committed to ending sexual and interpersonal violence.
- A required third party assessment of policies and programs relating to sexual and intimate partner violence at the University of Connecticut. As students have shared, it is essential that this review occur anonymously and include student experiences. The findings of that review will be publicly shared with the UConn community once available.
- Hire additional staff to increase the University’s capacity to assess our service, publicly share our goals and progress, and increase support for those directly impacted by sexual and interpersonal violence.
Finally, we will be periodically reconvening the Task Force to review our progress on implementation of these goals over the course of the current academic year.
This work will not be done alone. Rather, we trust the students who have worked so closely with us to express their concerns and who will continue to work closely with the administration on implementation. The leadership of USG and GSS were directly involved in the work of the task force and are an important pathway for continued consultation moving forward.
This University cares deeply for its students. We do, however, need to continually make additional and intentional efforts to earn and maintain the trust of our students. We are grateful to the many students, faculty, and staff who have committed their time to this work.
With deepest gratitude,
Interim President, University of Connecticut
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Eleanor JB Daugherty
Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs