Mazey to launch Task Force on Sexual Assault

Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey has announced the university will form a Task Force on Sexual Assault.

The task force will include “students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate to review our policies and procedures for Title IX and sexual assault, benchmark our efforts against best practices across the country, and provide recommendations to improve the campus culture and our policies. In addition, the task force will examine our services for supporting sexual assault victims and evaluate our awareness and prevention efforts.”

In announcing the task force Mazey wrote: “I greatly appreciate the concerns you have shared over the past week regarding the issue of sexual assault on campus, support services for victims and the processes we have in place today to report and investigate assaults. I want you to know that I hear your concerns, and I, along with others, will address them.

“I respect and understand that it takes tremendous courage to report a sexual assault. When a sexual assault occurs, it’s not only a crime perpetrated on the victim, but it’s an assault on our entire University family. As a community, we must all come together to prevent assaults from occurring, make sure victims are properly supported, and continue to ensure that our investigative processes are thorough, fair, equitable and respectful.”

The task force will be co-chaired by: Meg Burrell, undergraduate student trustee on theBoard of Trustees; Alex Solis, a former student body president and current staff member in my office; and Dr. Maureen Wilson, chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs.

The full statement follows.
May 1, 2017

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I greatly appreciate the concerns you have shared over the past week regarding the issue of sexual assault on campus, support services for victims and the processes we have in place today to report and investigate assaults. I want you to know that I hear your concerns, and I, along with others, will address them.

I respect and understand that it takes tremendous courage to report a sexual assault. When a sexual assault occurs, it’s not only a crime perpetrated on the victim, but it’s an assault on our entire University family. As a community, we must all come together to prevent assaults from occurring, make sure victims are properly supported, and continue to ensure that our investigative processes are thorough, fair, equitable and respectful.

I know there are always opportunities to improve upon what we’re doing, and I hope you all will continue to provide feedback on ways we can improve.

Taking into consideration the feedback we have gotten over the past week, and in an effort to enhance how we address sexual assault on campus, I have some significant news to share with you.

I am immediately launching a Task Force on Sexual Assault comprised of students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate to review our policies and procedures for Title IX and sexual assault, benchmark our efforts against best practices across the country, and provide recommendations to improve the campus culture and our policies. In addition, the task force will examine our services for supporting sexual assault victims and evaluate our awareness and prevention efforts.

The task force will be co-chaired by Meg Burrell, our undergraduate student trustee on the BGSU Board of Trustees; Alex Solis, a former student body president and current staff member in my office; and Dr. Maureen Wilson, chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs. The members are:

Lauren Ashman, Intercollegiate Athletics
Jauntez Bates, undergraduate student
Julie Broadwell, The Cocoon
Michael Campbell, Public Safety
Ivi Casagrande, graduate student
Dr. Faith DeNardo, Wellness Connection/Title IX
Elle Fullenkamp, undergraduate student
Austin Gilbert, undergraduate student
Dr. Garrett Gilmer, Counseling Center
Dr. Christina Lunceford, Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs
Hanna Modene, undergraduate student
Dr. Sarah Rainey, School of Cultural and Critical Studies
Dr. Katie Stygles, LGBTQ+ Programs
Jodi Webb, Office of the Dean of Students

The task force will begin work this week and will submit a final report and recommendations to me for approval.

I am also pleased to announce that I will continue hosting the opportunities for dialogue that we established this spring – “Office Hours” for students and “Conversations” for faculty and staff. Your insight and thoughts about what we can do better are critical to the future success of BGSU, and we hope you will continue to share your ideas, concerns and challenges in these informal settings. We’ll announce dates and share sign-up information soon.

We are constantly looking to improve upon the procedures we have in place at BGSU in all areas. Our campus culture and atmosphere should reflect our shared efforts and core values. I welcome and respect your input.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Together, we will continue our work in making BGSU a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

Regards,
Mary Ellen Mazey
Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.
President

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