April 28, 2015
To: University of Denver faculty, staff and students
From: Kathryne Grove, director, Equal Opportunity and Title IX
You may be wondering about an increase in campus messages regarding the serious issue of sexual misconduct.
Some emails, like yesterday’s Campus Safety Alert, are sent in accordance with federal laws such as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). These alerts are designed to provide you with information about incidents that have taken place on and around our campus. They also include information to community members regarding prevention and educational tips.
We continue our ongoing efforts to promote a more compassionate and supportive environment for those in our community who are survivors of sexual assault, to provide education, to break the silence and create a dialogue on this difficult subject, and to make you aware of the many support services available at the University. You can learn more about these efforts at du.edu/titleix. Activities happening during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which continues at DU through the end of April, are another way we are doing this.
While the reports covered in yesterday’s Campus Safety Alert were filed over the weekend, the reported incidents occurred in October 2014 and March 2015. These reports, while troubling, are what we hope is a result of our continual effort to provide a safe and supportive environment at the University where survivors feel more comfortable coming forward. More information on reporting options and resources is available at du.edu/titleix.
Additionally, we recently received notice from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of a second complaint, this one filed by a respondent who disagrees with an outcome in a case. As with the first complaint, we are fully cooperating with the OCR in their investigation and are confident that our procedures allow for equity of process.
We are seeing a critical cultural shift nationwide as OCR complaints against universities are increasing. At the University of Denver, we encourage conversation and dialogue about sexual assault prevention, education and compassionate support. Breaking the culture of silence requires a willingness to engage the community and speak openly about these issues. Everyone has the right to file a complaint, and we may see an increase as our community becomes more educated about Title IX and the OCR.