GUSA and administrators sign MOU to reform campus sexual assault policy

September 15, 2015

The Georgetown University Student Association and university administrators officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today after several weeks of meeting and negotiating reforms to the university’s sexual assault policies and survivors’ rights.

According to a statement from GUSA released Sept. 15, the changes and commitments reached are to include:

  • A new educational program for bystander intervention that is to reach all students by March 1, 2016
  • A list of on and off-campus resources on the back of every new students’ GOCard beginning Fall 2016 as well as the placement of stickers in all on-campus bathroom stalls
  • A commitment to scheduling the final interview slots for a full-time Title IX coordinator before Sept. 30 and to reevaluating staffing levels in relation to student needs
  • The creation of focus groups this semester that are to evaluate policies surrounding Medical Leaves of Absence
  • The completion of a Campus Climate Survey in January 2016.

As the Voice reported on Sept. 2, GUSA and a group of administrators met twice in August to discuss how to create a more survivor-centric campus, and the two parties reached the principal terms of the MOU soon after these meetings.

“This agreement brings us one step closer to creating a survivor-centric campus, where students know their resources and where Title IX obligations are fully met,” Joe Luther (COL ’16), GUSA president, wrote in the statement.

Both Luther and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Olson signed the MOU. According to Olson, the commitments reached in the MOU can aid in bystander empowerment.

“I am hoping the average student gains strong and useful skills about how to be an active bystander – ready to intervene when needed to help a friend or classmate,” Olson wrote in an email to the Voice.

Olivia Hinerfeld (SFS ’17) and Maddy Moore (SFS ’17), both sexual assault peer educators, noted how the MOU stands as another step in the longer conversation around the issue of sexual assault on campus.

“My hope is that students feel empowered to play a role in all these changes because sexual violence is a community issue,” Moore wrote in an email to the Voice. “We are working to enact positive policy changes for all students whether they are survivors, loved ones, or active bystanders on this campus.”

A copy of the MOU is attached below.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is a former news editor of The Georgetown Voice. Follow him on Twitter @MILLERdfillmore for unabashed tweets about the Sacramento Kings.

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