Campus LifeNews

UW President Cauce reaffirms commitment to sexual harassment prevention

In a newsletter sent to all UW staff and faculty April 26, UW Presi­dent Ana Mari Cauce reaffirmed the University’s commitment in pre­venting sexual harassment as well as providing the necessary resources for victims. Cauce also stated that begin­ning May 1, there would be an increase in workshops, training and accessibil­ity on all campuses.

“Sexual harassment is devastating for victims, and too often, survivors do not get the support they need when they come forward,” Cauce stated in her news­letter. “Our university is dedicated to fostering working and learning environ­ments that are free from sexual harass­ment and all forms of sexual violence and discrimination.”

This newsletter comes as a response to the efforts of the #MeToo movement to raise awareness of active and passive sexual harassment. The “MeToo” hashtag was popularized in late 2017 by actress Alyssa Milano in a show of support for women to tweet about their experiences with sexual harassment.

While #MeToo has been trending for only seven months, the Me Too move­ment has been around since 2006. Cre­ated by social activist and organizer Ta­rana Burke, the movement is dedicated to supporting women — especially women of color in low income com­munities — in the process of healing from sexaul assault and violcence. The goal of the movement is to ensure the safety of everyone and hold perpetrators account­able for their actions.

Mentha Hynes-Wilson, UW Tacoma’s vice chancellor of Student and Enroll­ment Services, forwarded the newsletter to all students on the Tacoma campus. In her message, Hynes-Wilson further elaborated on President Cauce’s commit­ment to providing the appropriate re­sources for students in addition to re­sources for staff and faculty. Included in the email were links to the UW’s Sexual Harassment Resources web page, with Hynes-Wilson stating the following;

“I want you to be aware that the UW has resources available to students seek­ing support or to report sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct, as President Cauce made clear in her message to Uni­versity employees.”

Effective May 1, university campus divisions, departments and programs will be allowed to request custom in-person trainings and programs that ad­dress sexual harassment through Campus Human Resources.

In addition to these trainings and programs, President Cauce also stated that three separate groups — one of which is a Title IX workgroup — are looking into ways to help refine sexual harassment training and education, which will be reviewed by the Title IX Steering Committee this autumn.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law signed under President Nixon in 1972 which prevents discrimination based on sex in institutions which receive financial assistance from the federal government. This extends to cover sexual violence and assault. It also prohibits retaliation on those who submit complaints about sexual harassment.

The UWT campus has been working on ways to improve their own on-campus resources to help victims and survivors. One such resource which students can readily access is the informative pages found inside restrooms — the “bathroom flyers” — which provide information on reporting an incident as well as providing resources that can be contacted for help.

When asked about how UWT will be handling sexual harassment in the future, Hynes-Wilson said that there is going to be collaboration to develop pub­lic awareness campaigns and responses for those who experience sexual violence.

“Free and confidential counseling for the victim/survivor is available through the Counseling Center. As­sistance with administrative and non­investigative reporting options is of­fered in the Office of Student Advocacy and Support,” Hynes-Wil­son said. “We also plan to incorporate information into programming through New Student Orientation, family programs, Residence Life and student leader/student employee trainings. As a final point, we will host a campus forum to discuss a recent climate survey and engage in an open exchange about Title IX resources and reporting policies.”


If you have experienced or are currently experiencing sexual
harassment, or you are looking for ways to help prevent sexual violence,
here is a list of resources which the UW and UWT offer:

UW Sexual Assault Resources

UW Safe Campus Title IX Sexual Misconduct

UWT Human Resources (For Staff and Faculty)

UWT Campus Safety and Security (Located in Dougan 180)

UWT Counseling Center
MAT 354

UWT Office of Student Advocacy and Support (Located in MAT 209)