Interim Guidelines for Filing Sexual Assault Complaints
A Message to the Community on June 9, 2014
To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Kenneth P. Ruscio
Date: June 9, 2014
As you are undoubtedly aware from media reports, federal officials have issued new guidance on how colleges and universities must deal with sexual harassment and sexual assault. In addition, there are reports that as many as 60 colleges and universities are currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for violations under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities.
Sexual assault runs counter to our institution's fundamental values and has no place in our community. In recent years, thanks to careful work by many members of the Washington and Lee community, we have made major strides in confronting these issues, from improved investigative procedures to enhanced training to increased education. But we must remain vigilant in these efforts.
The first item under "Resources" below describes guidelines currently in place for filing a complaint of student or employee sexual discrimination or harassment, including sexual assault, dating or domestic violence and sex-based stalking. It also provides useful information on how our processes work. I hope you will examine this document at your earliest convenience.
These guidelines have been developed as part of an ongoing examination of our policies and procedures and will be useful to you as we undertake a comprehensive assessment of current policies and procedures in response to the guidance from federal agencies.
I also want to announce that I have appointed Lauren Kozak as Title IX Coordinator, effective July 1. Lauren has been Assistant Director of Career Services in the School of Law. She has extensive training in investigating and addressing sexual harassment and assault, having served the University well in the past two years as an investigator for student sexual harassment cases. Lauren will oversee the implementation and enforcement of W&L's obligations under Title IX, will help educate the community on the related issues, and will keep me directly informed on our progress. Amy Barnes, Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employees, and Elizabeth Knapp, Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Equity in Athletics, will assist Lauren in her work.
As I have indicated in previous communications on this issue, respect for one another is a cornerstone of Washington and Lee. Living up to the standards that we set for ourselves requires a conscious, deliberate effort to understand our obligations and not to tolerate sexual discrimination, harassment or assault of any kind.
As always, I am pleased to receive your thoughts on these matters.