University Leaders Address Sexual Violence




by Elizabeth Chapin

Last year, the CSU took steps to expand its comprehensive, consistent approach to addressing sexual violence across its system. The effort includes mandatory sexual violence training for students and employees, placement of a confidential victim advocate on all campuses, and revisions to system policies to reflect changes in the law.

Recognizing the CSU’s ongoing commitment to keep campuses safe for students and employees, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recently invited CSU leaders to lead a discussion on the topic with presidents of universities throughout the U.S.

The CSU’s Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Framroze Virjee co-led a session at the AASCU’s Summer Council of Presidents July 12, where he provided guidance on key issues to consider in developing policy and managing allegations of unlawful and unacceptable behavior on campus. CSU Northridge President Dianne Harrison also co-led the session, sharing insights about the role a college president plays in creating a culture of respect and a safe campus climate.

CSU policy now requires mandatory sexual assault training for incoming freshmen, transfer students and new employees, as well as annual training for investigators, hearing officers and university police. In addition, every campus has now implemented a campus-wide task force on sexual violence that monitors cases and assesses awareness/prevention programs, as well as a victim advocate to support survivors and help them understand their options and available resources.

The AASCU is a higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems throughout the U.S. The organization’s Summer Council of Presidents focuses on presidential leadership and professional development for presidents of member institutions.