Updates and Communications
On this page, you can find ongoing updates to our work on prevention, education, intervention and response to sexual and gender-based violence. The month of implementation is cited, for ongoing accountability. Some of these updates came about in response to student advocacy in the summer of 2020. We will use this page on an ongoing basis, however, to keep you apprised of recent work on sexual and gender-based violence. This includes updates and plans from multiple offices and departments. If you have questions or concerns, you can reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and our Title IX Coordinator will make sure to direct your question to the responsible director or leader.
The updates on this page are not a complete record of all the resources available to our students, so please explore our website, especially the Resources for Students section!
Student input on policy and process
We believe that systemic change requires active participation and input from those directly impacted by the system. Student input is welcome on an ongoing basis, and you can use the confidential feedback form for all our offices. Some recent changes to policy and process focused on student input and experiences:
In August 2020, Student Rights & Responsibilities (SRR) started a Resident Advisor consultation group: RAs will meet with SRR staff monthly to discuss experiences particular to the RA role.
- In August 2020, we published a revised Sexual Misconduct Policy that incorporated student input.
- In September 2020, the Title IX Coordinator hired two student workers who are focused on designing materials that emphasize transparency and accessibility of information about sexual misconduct reporting, options, and procedures.
- In Spring 2021, the Title IX Coordinator began working with student government to define key terms: “anti-oppressive”, “trauma-informed”, “gender responsive” and “culturally responsive”.
- In 2021-22, the federal government will update governing regulations for Title IX, and the Title IX Coordinator will ask for student input on proposed policy changes in response to those federal requirements. We anticipate that our current policy is comprehensive enough to adapt quickly to these changes, without sacrificing our comprehensive support and options for students.
Advisors and supports during investigation
We recognize that a survivor’s community of support has one of the biggest impacts on healing and recovery. Community and social support mitigates the impact of trauma and helps us reach a point where a traumatic experience is one part of a full and whole life story. When going through an investigation, a student can utilize their own chosen advisor or a trained advisor free of charge.
In addition to an advisor, any student can have a personal or professional emotional support person at their side when meeting with any college administrator, as well as in an interview, while reviewing evidence collected in an investigation, and at a disciplinary hearing.
- Our Confidential Advocates are available to students, in addition to 24/7 community resources including Call to Safety’s 24-hr hotline, which you can reach at: 1-888-235-5333.
In September 2020, nineteen students began our law school’s first Title IX on Campus course, which included training for the students to act as process advisors.
- In October 2020, we posted the list of process advisors available for students who are considering requesting an investigation, or who are going through an investigation.
- Our Sexual Misconduct Policy, revised August 2020, includes information about Supportive Measures, which are available with or without an investigation or formal complaint.
- Where a student requests a formal investigation of conduct, they can always expect timely updates and reasons for any delay, and they have the opportunity to present all their information as well as to review and ask questions about any information and evidence collected during an investigation.
Restorative or Transformative Justice Program
Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Title IX Coordinator are committed to using language that accurately reflects the resources and options available to students. We will not use labels such as Restorative Justice until and unless the college has implemented a full Restorative Justice and/or Transformative Justice model that is culturally responsive and trauma-informed.
A group of students has been working on a plan for Restorative and Transformative Justice approaches on campus, and will be working over the summer of 2021 on further planning and development.
The Counseling Service is committed to providing effective and compassionate trauma-informed care for all students who seek our services. To that end:
- All counseling staff have had training in trauma-informed treatment.
- All on-campus counseling is free.
- In Fall 2020, we recruited to fill a reconfigured position for a mental health counselor to focus on BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ students. When we were unable to fill that position, we redesigned the position, and are searching in Spring 2021 for an Outreach Coordinator and Mental Health Counselor, Focusing on Serving BIPOC students.
- Counseling Service staff are engaged in a reflection process so that we can continue to improve our support for students affected by trauma.
- In Fall 2020, with the support of a donor, the Office of Case Management implemented a new student-facing referral platform (MiResource) to make it easier for students to find off-campus resources to meet their needs.
Most counseling services are offered in a brief treatment model (1 to 10 counseling sessions), so that we may serve as many students as possible. While we do prioritize students who have experienced recent trauma in our triage and service model, it is sometimes not possible or in the best interest of a trauma survivor for us to offer on-campus counseling. This could happen, for example, if it is clear that the student needs long term therapy and/or we are nearing a break in the academic calendar (when Counseling Services may be closed, or staffing greatly reduced).
For students that we refer off-campus, we make every effort to refer students to resources that fit with their racial, cultural, and gender identities; their finances and insurance status; and their transportation resources.
The Health Service is committed to the ongoing improvement of our services to students who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence. To that end:
- In Spring of 2019 all staff participated in sensitivity training for medical offices in caring for and expanding services for trans-spectrum individuals.
- In the Fall of 2019, health care providers attended an OHSU workshop on providing transgender health care.
- In Summer 2020, the Health Service worked on updating its clinic policy and procedures to assist students who experience sexual and gender- based violence.
- In Fall 2020, the Health Service implemented a practice of having medical chaperones present for all sensitive exams and procedures. (Prior to fall 2020, chaperones were available on request.)
- In Spring 2021, the Health Service drafted a diversity, equity and inclusion plan to guide its efforts to better serve students. Feedback on the plan is being solicited from campus stakeholders.
- Over the course of the academic year 2020-21, student concerns expressed about patient care were investigated. Health Service staff are integrating feedback from that process in order to improve the quality of care offered to students.
- In spring and summer 2021, the Health Service is revisiting and updating Its formal plan for monitoring, assessing, and reviewing the ongoing quality of patient care.
Campus Living conducts regular annual training at the start of each academic year, for Area Directors (ADs) and Resident Advisors (RAs). Campus Living training for 2020-21 included:
- In conjunction with the Interpersonal Violence and Prevention Team, providing on-going training and enhancement of current training for ADs and RAs in areas including bystander intervention and dynamics of violence.
- Collaborating with the Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator for appropriate training for RAs and ADs regarding their role in sexual misconduct disclosures.
- Collaborating with the Interim Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) for both ADs and RAs for training, protocol of reporting, and clarity on the Student Rights and Responsibilities process. This includes establishing on-going meetings with the Interim Director of SRR between the RAs and ADs and distinguishing the difference in expectations and responsibilities. Determining effectiveness of training and addressing any ongoing concerns and/or issues with reporting through evaluation and feedback.
- Collaborating with the Office of Case Management and Counseling Services to ensure there is timely outreach and support for RAs who have had to support residents through mental health crises. This also includes the ongoing training of ADs when supporting students during times of mental health crisis.
- Ensuring all Campus Living staff and campus partners understand that welfare checks are the responsibility of Area Directors and ensure ADs receive adequate training for these checks.
- Continued participation in student life on-call training for Area Directors.
- Working with the office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement to develop equity and inclusion training for RAs and ADs.
- Working with the Director of Campus Safety to clarify and revise policy for on-call procedures including when to call the Area Director and when to include the RA.
- Working with Campus Living professionals and campus partners towards continued implementation, evaluation, and development of Summer, Fall, Winter, Orientation, and on-going monthly trainings for Resident Advisors and Area Directors.
Response to Incidents
- When the Title IX Coordinator learns of an incident or allegation, the next step is reaching out to the person impacted by that incident. Where the best approach is having a Confidential Advocate reach out first - such as to support a survivor with safety planning or medical response - we start with the Confidential Advocate, then follow up with options from the Title IX Coordinator.
- Our Supportive Measures are always available for students, with or without an investigation or formal complaint.
- We investigate and resolve formal complaints, and the student impacted has options to request and be involved in an investigation. In our policy, the Reporting Party (the student impacted by the incident who requests an investigation) has opportunities to provide information as well as review all evidence collected by an investigator. Investigations are private and protected by FERPA, which controls access to student educational records.
- Where an incident requires immediate protective measures or campus-wide warnings, the Title IX Coordinator with work with Confidential Advocates, local agencies, and/or Campus Safety to put appropriate protective measures in place.
Prevention and Education
We know that any response after the fact is only a piece of the puzzle, and does not address the deep-seated systemic issues that lead to sexual and gender-based violence. Education and practice on keys to prevention, including consent, healthy boundaries, and bystander intervention, are necessary components.
- Our prevention work received support through a grant from the U.S.. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) in late 2018.
- Under the grant, the college formed our Interpersonal Violence Prevention Team, and began implementing Lead the Change, our bystander intervention curriculum.
- New students in August 2020 participated in a 90-minute, peer-led Sexual Health and Consent workshop.
Consent workshops were offered throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
- Descriptions of prevention programming are in the Prevention tab on this website.
- A new Violence Prevention Coordinator, Emily Mattson, was hired for the duration of our OVW grant funding.
- In Spring 2021, approximately sixty students were trained in our bystander intervention curriculum, Lead the Change.
- Campus Safety partnered with the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness and Portland community partners in ongoing training on best practices in responding to incidences of interpersonal violence.
- Staff in various offices have continued to engage in Dynamics of Violence trainings throughout the semester.