CWRU sign in front of Adelbert Hall

AAU study shows CWRU among schools expanding efforts to address sexual misconduct

A new national survey shows that Case Western Reserve’s recent efforts to educate the campus community about sexual misconduct align strongly with initiatives of more than 60 peer institutions across the U.S.

Released today, the report from the Association of American Universities (AAU) shows that the overwhelming majority of institutions—including Case Western Reserve—have added resources, training and programs of late to help prevent and respond to sexual misconduct more effectively.

The new AAU document follows a spring 2015 climate survey of 150,000 students at more than two dozen AAU institutions. That effort provided individual campus and aggregate data regarding student awareness, attitudes and experiences involving sexual assault and sexual harassment. For Case Western Reserve, the 2015 results generally were better than overall averages for questions involving sexual assault, but higher for a few of the items involving sexual harassment.

This latest report, meanwhile, details trends involving the kinds of expanded or new initiatives institutions have launched, and also highlighted particular universities’ programs. For example, the report cited Case Western Reserve’s collaboration with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center to expand services for students. This university also was among the 100 percent of institutions surveyed that have adjusted training and enhanced programs, and the 90 percent that have added resources.

“This follow-up report shows that Case Western Reserve is in outstanding company with regard to the ways we have worked to strengthen multiple aspects of our initiatives involving sexual misconduct,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark. “It also offers insights about additional approaches we can consider going forward from here.”

Case Western Reserve’s efforts have included:

  • Adding the first full-time leadership position dedicated to Title IX compliance (Associate Vice President Darnell Parker);
  • Introducing online education modules for incoming students to review during the summer before they enroll;
  • Increasing in-person educational programs regarding behaviors that constitute sexual harassment;
  • Enhancing training students receive regarding sexual misconduct and bystander intervention during on-campus orientation; and
  • Expanding training received by students, faculty and staff who serve on Title IX case hearing panels.

In addition, this fall, the university will launch the Green Dot bystander intervention program, a research-based initiative offered on campuses across the country.

“We have made significant progress in recent years, and I am grateful to all of those who have participated in our efforts,” Parker said. “Still, we know that we have more work to do in terms of raising awareness and giving individuals the information and techniques they need to take action when a situation warrants it. We are committed to continuing to improve the campus climate and the experiences of members of the campus community.”