Update from the Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education

The coalition, established in 2014, consists of faculty, administrators, and students.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 23, 2015) — There is zero tolerance for sexual assault and gender-based violence at UM and we encourage our campus community to participate in the local and national dialogue.

Safety and welfare of students is fundamental to the University’s mission, and efforts are made to both educate the community and address individual behavior. To help ensure a broad cross-section of UM community involvement, collaboration, and information sharing, President Donna E. Shalala established the University of Miami President’s Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education during the summer of 2014. The Coalition consists of 30 UM faculty and administrators, and 25 students. Among the many efforts of the Coalition, we have completed an environmental scan to identify the resources available to students on campus and in the community, launched a comprehensive survey to learn more from our students about their related experiences, and engaged with students, faculty, and staff across the campus to educate them on the collective efforts of the University community.

Find resource information and more here.

The University Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Resource Team (S.A.R.T.) and Student Health Center also address the impact that sexual assault has on individual students and the campus environment at large. S.A.R.T. is a 24-hour telephone resource line for University of Miami students. A survivor of sexual violence may talk, anonymously, to a trained volunteer about what has occurred and what resources are available to them. The telephone resource line is also available to those seeking information regarding these issues. The S.A.R.T. team works under the administration of the Counseling Center to prevent and respond to incidences of sexual assault by collaborating with campus partners and community services such as the University of Miami Police (UMPD), The Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center, a Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students Office, and Housing and Residential Life.

The efforts of the Coalition and its partners have extended to staff training, Department of Orientation, Greek Life, Department of Athletics, the Counseling Center, UM Police, the Student Health Center, and more than a dozen other student-led outreach events. UM also utilizes the best practices put forth on this issue by the White House and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

The University’s resources include the following:

• What to do if sexually assaulted
• How to report a sexual assault
• Where to go for medical care
• Where to receive crisis and aftermath counseling
• Education
We believe that it’s on all of us in the community - faculty, staff, and students alike - to be educated on this issue as sometimes the survivors of sexual assault don’t feel comfortable talking to the authorities at first. Areas of education include resources for family, friends, and co-workers.

A survivor has the right to do any or all of the following:

• Seek separate support resources and/or protective orders,
• Provide a detailed account of the interaction,
• Seek adjudication through the University administrative disciplinary process, or
• Seek separate legal remedies by reporting to the Coral Gables Police Department or other appropriate jurisdictional agency.

These possibilities are explained to each person who makes a report of sexual misconduct, and in nearly all circumstances, the survivor retains the right to start or stop these processes at any time.

The University considers any allegation of sexual assault an extremely serious matter and thoroughly investigates when directed to do so by a survivor. UM does not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of students and campuses, and holds all students to the highest standards of conduct.

While we have done much over the past year, we know there is always more that can be done and welcome constructive dialogue and feedback on the issues at hand to further improve our community. The University of Miami and the Coalition are committed to maintaining a safe and informed campus environment for all.

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