Preventing Sexual Violence

September 23, 2016

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

It was good to see those of you who were able to attend the campus forum on violence last week. As we attend to our response to disturbing issues of violence that have occurred—and continue to occur—across our nation, we also must strengthen our work to prevent violence within our own community. Over the past year, we have continued to hear about the work of the Department of Education’s Title IX sexual misconduct investigations on college campuses, and know that, according to the White House Council on Women and Girls, one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college, and women are not the only victims of gender-based violence and sexual misconduct. 

Since arriving on campus in July, I have learned more about our efforts to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all members of our community. It is clear that this is a campus that takes prevention, reporting, and investigations of sexual misconduct very seriously. I write today to voice my strong support of this work, and to emphasize the important role that we all play to ensure the safety of everyone who lives, works, and learns on our campus. 

The President’s Cabinet and I continue to meet regularly to review all related policies and practices with Michael Benitez, Puget Sound’s dean of diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, who serves as our Title IX compliance officer, and to support the work of Marta Cady in student affairs, who has taken on the responsibility of sexual assault prevention and education campus-wide. Together these two staff members lead the work of the Sexual Gender Violence Committee to foster a community of care, respect, and safety.

Please note the following actions you can take now to support this important work:

Be part of the solution. Complete information about Puget Sound’s sexual misconduct policies is on the Sexual Misconduct Resource Center website. You can also visit the Title IX section of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website, which provides information and resources concerning gender-based violence and sexual misconduct.

Know how to report. In addition to the resources listed on the websites above, sexual misconduct can be reported online at

Take the Sexual Violence Prevention tutorial. Educate yourself about ways to identify, prevent, and interrupt sexual violence. All faculty, staff and students can take this assessment at

Participate in a bystander workshop. Sign up for a Green Dot Bystander workshop for your team, group, department, or others at

Learn more. There are many programs scheduled for this fall. Highlights include:

Sexuality Issues, Relationships, and Gender Education (SIRGE) Panel on Brock Turner
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m., Kilworth Memorial Chapel
How does this sexual assault case affect University of Puget Sound?

“Cup of Prevention” Program
Events will be scheduled throughout October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Check the SIRGE  website at for complete information.

“It’s On Us” Week of Action
Oct. 9–15
Puget Sound is an “It’s On Us” partner school. A pledge campaign and a showing of the movie The Hunting Ground will be part of this week of action.

“Got Consent?” Consent Stories of Puget Sound
Thursday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Kilworth Memorial Chapel
Professor Jason Laker of San Jose State University and Professor Erica Boas of Santa Clara University will present their research on sexual consent among college students. This research aims to understand and increase students' capacities for personal agency, and to reduce coercive and nonconsensual sexual encounters. (Last March Laker and Boas interviewed Puget Sound students as part of their research.)

Take Back the Night March and Rally
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 8:30 p.m., Wyatt Atrium
A tradition in both the fall and spring semesters, Take Back the Night creates awareness and provides a safe space for survivors to be supported and recognized.

Additional information and resources will be provided throughout the year. Thank you for everything that you do to help make University of Puget Sound a place where every member of our community is valued and treated with respect.


Isiaah Crawford | President