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Sexual Misconduct Policy Updated; Campus Climate Report Released

Dear Members of the Northwestern Community:

Northwestern University is committed to fostering a learning, working and living environment where all members of our community can thrive, free from sexual misconduct. As part of our continuing efforts to ensure that, the University has recently updated Northwestern’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct and today is releasing findings from the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct conducted by the University earlier this year. The survey of Northwestern students, conducted last spring, generated nearly 3,000 responses from students at all levels.

The updated policy is available online.

Northwestern has been a leader on this important issue and has already undertaken several initiatives, including adopting a new Policy on Sexual Misconduct in 2014 and clearly defining consent. The recently revised policy is a comprehensive document that includes updated procedures and resources regarding sexual misconduct, including information about seeking medical treatment, confidential on-campus or off-campus advocates, filing reports with law enforcement and/or the University, and additional information. The revised policy also makes clear that the University is dedicated to balancing the principles of Title IX while preserving its commitment to free expression and academic freedom. We continue to see this policy as a living document, and we invite University community members, including faculty, staff, and students, to provide input and feedback on the policy over the current academic year.

In addition to the updated Policy on Sexual Misconduct, the University has created a new, more user-friendly Title IX website with new resources and materials.

Northwestern is also developing Title IX online education that will be available for all faculty, staff, and graduate students later this academic year. This education program will be the best way for faculty, staff, and graduate students to learn what they need to know to protect themselves, help others, and comply with the law and University policy.

Finally, a report detailing the results of Northwestern’s first Campus Climate Survey is now available. Last spring, the Office of Institutional Research distributed the survey to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and collected the data, which was then analyzed by the Office of Student Affairs Assessment with input from a committee of students, faculty and staff. The information we have learned from the results of this survey will provide valuable insight to the University and will be presented to the Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence and the Title IX Coordinating Committee. The report is available online.

Making Northwestern a secure and welcoming place where all members of our community are treated appropriately and respectfully is a top priority of the University. The new initiatives already underway move us forward toward that goal, and we are confident that with your continued support and participation, we will achieve it.

Thank you.

Morton Schapiro, 
President and Professor
Daniel Linzer, 
Provost and Professor

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