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Joint President/Senate Sexual Assault Prevention Task Force Statement

May 16, 2017

Attributed to Wallace D. Loh, President, University of Maryland: 

In October 2016, I charged this Joint Task Force—chaired by Steve Petkas, Resident Life, and comprised of 16 faculty, staff, and students representing areas from student conduct, to public health, to athletics—to examine how the University of Maryland can better prevent sexual assault within our community.

Over the course of six months, the Joint Task Force worked with due diligence to gather information and recommend a comprehensive sexual assault prevention plan that encompasses five areas: (1) programming; (2) communication strategy; (3) coordination of the prevention efforts; (4) resources and implementation; and (5) process evaluation and outcome assessment.

Some highlights of the Joint Task Force’s recommendations include: year-by-year programming for undergraduate students to repeat and reinforce key messages, as well as specialized programming for graduate students; a centralized website for one easy-to-navigate location with information about University resources, services, and policies; a new sexual assault prevention awareness campaign; and a dedicated staff person to oversee and implement this comprehensive prevention plan.

The Joint Task Force also recommended a phased implementation of this plan, mindful of the time, effort, and funding required to do so properly.

The complete report of the Joint Task Force can be found at https://go.umd.edu/px6 (pdf).

I have accepted the recommendations and will begin this summer the process of implementing them. 

I commend and thank the Joint Task Force for its indefatigable work and its well-considered recommendations. To create a campus that is free from all forms of sexual misconduct is an ambitious and essential undertaking that is in the interest, and is the responsibility, of every member of our University community.