Office of the President

November 26, 2018

Building a culture of inclusion and respect for all

Ana Mari Cauce

At the University of Washington, our success as a community of students, faculty and staff depends on creating an environment that does not tolerate sexual assault, sexual harassment or gender-based harassment or discrimination. This requires building a culture of inclusion and respect for all, including all bodies, gender identities, orientations and expressions. The responsibility for building that culture lies with all of us — but it is especially incumbent upon those of us in leadership roles to set and maintain these standards.

We are steadfast in our commitment to preventing and addressing any form of sexual misconduct at our University. If you have any questions or concerns — for yourself or for someone else — I encourage you to contact  SafeCampus, which is available at all times for all UW locations. SafeCampus can assist with immediate safety planning as well as connect you with a confidential advocate. Confidential advocates are available to all UW students and employees who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or another form of sexual misconduct. Advocates can help with safety planning, provide ongoing support, connect you with campus and local resources, and explain your rights and reporting options if you choose to make a formal report to the University. Communication with advocates is confidential. Your communications with mental health counselors and medical care professionals are also confidential.

Our Title IX Coordinator, Valery Richardson, is also available for consultation about reporting options, overall compliance with Title IX or to arrange training for departments or other organizations. Communications with SafeCampus and the Title IX Coordinator are private but may be shared on a need-to-know basis with relevant University personnel if there is a need to evaluate and address the risk of harm to the greater community.

As you may be aware, earlier this month, the Department of Education released a set of proposed new Title IX regulations. We believe our current policies provide a fair and equitable process, but we will be conducting a full analysis of the new rules to understand how they might affect our procedures. We will be scheduling Title IX discussion forums in early January, and I encourage anyone with questions or concerns about the impact of proposed regulations to attend a session. We’ll update our Title IX website with dates for the forums and a way to provide feedback online. As I wrote last September, nothing will diminish our commitment to preventing and addressing campus sexual misconduct.

We all have a responsibility to create an environment in which sexual assault, harassment and misconduct are unacceptable and survivors are supported. This requires building a culture of respect and inclusion in each of our departments, units or workplaces. I encourage everyone, including student groups, academic departments and other organizations, to take the “It’s On Us” pledge. Together, we can create a truly inclusive culture that ensures every member of our community is treated with care and respect.