Sexual harassment continues to be a pervasive and serious matter at colleges and universities
across our country; and CSUSM is no exception. Despite efforts across our campus by
many dedicated individuals to address sexual harassment through education, training
and a variety of other efforts, there is more we can do to further foster a welcoming
and inclusive campus environment where all students can freely and safely pursue their
academic and personal objectives.
During the 2021-22 academic year, a taskforce comprised of students, faculty and staff
will come together around the themes of accountability, safety, prevention and education.
- Reviewing current sexual harassment policies, procedures and training;
- Recommending strategies to improve the communication and transparency of these policies,
procedures and training programs;
- Recommending opportunities to expand and improve the effectiveness of training and
prevention efforts; and
- Considering how we can improve the way we care for our community members who are impacted
by sexual harassment.
Some issues and themes that the taskforce should consider include:
- Understanding power differentials between students and faculty and how we need to
guard against the abuse of that power through education and engaged training;
- Recognizing that issues are structural, institutional, and statewide and need to be
addressed at all those levels;
- Understanding that recent events have created anger, distrust and polarization which
calls for healing;
- Understanding the need to work together to address these issues including bystander
intervention and clear and concise language about mandated reporting;
- Balancing transparency with students’ right to know;
- Understanding the role of the media;
- Include restorative justice practices in the discussion;
- Discuss overall role of communication including a statement in the syllabus about
where students can go if they experience sexual harassment;
- Include LGBTQ issues and military affiliated issues.
In addition to the taskforce, President Neufeldt has made the following commitments
to improve CSUSM's campus climate around sexual harrassment:
- An external reviewer will work with the CSUSM Title IX Office to audit processes.
- A new staff position in the Office of Inclusive Excellence will be hired to support
and help those reporting any type of harrassment, hate or bias.
- The CSUSM Title IX Office has joined a national cohort of universities participating
in NASPA's "Culture of Respect" initiative, which builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing,
expansive organizational change.