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White House Task Force Issues Guide for Campus Sexual Assault Response, 2017



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On January 6, 2017, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault published a Guide for University and College Presidents, Chancellors, and Senior Administrators.
The Guide represents a resource for college and university leaders containing recommendations on how they can develop and augment their response to sexual misconduct at their institutions. While the Trump Administration may change the rules governing Title IX enforcement in the future, for now, the Task Force recommendations provide useful insights for administrators as they seek to address sexual misconduct on their campuses..

The Guide focuses on six primary elements that colleges and universities may want to consider as part of a comprehensive plan for addressing sexual misconduct:

  1. Coordinated Campus and Community Response. Schools are encouraged to catalog and coordinate campus and community resources that are available to prevent and address sexual misconduct.
  2. Prevention, Education, and Training. The Guide stresses that education and training programs for students should begin at freshman orientation and continue via “booster shots” through graduate school.
  3. Policy Development and Implementation. School leaders should adopt a broad-based policy for responding to sexual misconduct that applies to students and is informed by principles of fair process and privacy.
  4. Reporting Options, Advocacy, and Support Services. Schools should encourage and facilitate the reporting of sexual misconduct for those who desire to report.
  5. Climate Surveys, Performance Measurement, and Evaluation. Regularly conduct research-based sexual misconduct climate surveys that help administrators evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s sexual misconduct policies and practices.
  6. Transparency. Every effort should be made to communicate, using all available means, so that all constituencies at the school and in the community know the school’s sexual misconduct policies and practices. 

For additional information concerning Title IX compliance, please contact any member of Steptoe & Johnson's Higher Education Team.