Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community: These are difficult days. At the same time, these difficult days represent an opportunity to demonstrate to each other and the world what it means to be and identify as a member of…
Syracuse University Continues Commitment to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ‘Enough is Enough’ Legislation
More than two years ago, Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud became the first private university president in New York State to endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” legislation to prevent, combat and address sexual and relationship violence on college campuses. Today, the University continues its commitment to “Enough is Enough” by ensuring its policies and practices are in full alignment with the legislation. This includes fulfilling the requirements of the state’s annual certification process.
More recently, Gov. Cuomo announced that, beyond the annual certification requirements, New York State will conduct an “Enough is Enough” audit of all public and private colleges and universities in the state this summer. The audit will evaluate the University’s policies and procedures; information on how the policies and procedures are communicated to students; and files related to complaints made during the 2016-17 academic year. Earlier today, the University submitted requested materials to the New York State Office of Campus Safety in a manner designed to maintain confidentiality and preserve student expectations regarding privacy.
Chancellor Syverud says he is proud that Syracuse University was the first private university in New York State to endorse “Enough is Enough,” and that he is pleased with the progress the community has made in recent years.
“Over the last several years, our campus community has taken a number of steps to address this very important issue,” says Chancellor Syverud. “I am grateful to our students, faculty and staff for making a collective effort to combat sexual and relationship violence.”
Those positive steps include the following:
- The creation of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence, a Universitywide 30-member task force committed to these issues.
- The University entered into a formal agreement, known as a Memorandum of Understanding, with Vera House. The agreement affirms each organization’s commitment to providing privileged and confidential services to those impacted by sexual and relationship violence.
- Holistic support services provided by, among other units, the Sexual and Relationship Violence Response (SRVR) Team and the Office of Student Assistance, to students impacted by sexual and relationship violence. The University offers 24/7 support via the Counseling Center to anyone impacted by sexual or relationship violence.
- Implementation of the “Think About It” online training program and in-person “Speak About It” program for all new students. The program educates new students about healthy personal relationships, resources for those impacted by interpersonal violence and policies and procedures relating to sexual and relationship violence.
- The Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS), in consultation with the Department of Public Safety, responds to and investigates complaints. During that process, EOIRS ensures equitable and prompt processes for all involved; presents informal and formal options for resolving complaints; and oversees investigations, which includes collecting evidence and testimony. Upon completion of the investigation, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) convenes an independent review panel consisting of faculty and staff, and brings the complaint to a resolution. Disciplinary action may include expulsion, suspension or probation. Following adjudication, both the accuser and accused can file an appeal, a process that is overseen by OSRR.
- Diverse staff across campus continue to advance their knowledge by attending national conferences and events regarding best practices related to sexual assault and relationship violence prevention and response.
- Students are continuing to engage in prevention and education initiatives to promote awareness of sexual and relationship violence and cultural change. This includes the work of the University’s many student organizations and leaders, including peer educators in the Office of Health Promotion.
- The Office of Health Promotion and EOIRS continue to provide training to hundreds of students, staff and faculty. This includes annual training for our student leaders, including student-athletes and resident advisors.
- Finally, the University continues to support and engage in open dialogue about sexual and relationship violence.
Syracuse University provides a number of resources—confidential and legal—to those impacted by sexual or relationship violence. Students seeking support for sexual assault, harassment, relationship violence or stalking can contact the Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team at the Counseling Center at 315.443.4715 for 24/7 confidential support, advocacy and discussion of reporting options. For 24/7 off-campus confidential support and advocacy, contact Vera House at 315.468.3260.