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UT task force suggests expanding sexual misconduct education

UT task force suggests expanding sexual misconduct education
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A task force created by University of Toledo President Sharon Gaber to review practices and policies related to sexual assault awareness and prevention came up with 27 recommendations for the school to implement.

Among the recommendations is a requirement that all incoming students be required to disclose criminal or student conduct complaints filed against them and to expand existing sexual misconduct prevention education required for first-year students to all students before to the start of each academic year.

The Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention and Adjudication Task Force “identified strengths, gaps in services and ways to improve the delivery of services,” a statement from UT said Monday.

“The recommendations are focused on four themes: comprehensive university-wide efforts, prevention and programming efforts, resource availability, and investigation and adjudication,” the statement said.

The recommendations also include creating a Title IX committee. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

During her first state of the university address this year, Ms. Gaber announced mandatory Title IX and ethics training for all faculty and staff starting in July and the task force on sexual assault awareness and prevention to compare UT’s practices with best practices at other universities.

“Student safety is a top priority, and we will continue enforcing zero tolerance of any type of abuse,” she said.

The task force also recommended “enhancing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention resources available to students, staff, and faculty.”

“The goal of our task force was to determine what we were doing well, what we can do better, and how to replicate evidence based-practices that other model programs have,” said Amy Thompson, professor of public health and director of the UT Center for Health and Successful Living, who co-chaired the task force.

“We want to be a leader in the prevention of sexual misconduct,” she said. “The recommendations put forth by the task force are a framework to plan future programs and services that help our campus continue to be a safe place for students, faculty, and staff to attend classes and work.”

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