Oregon State University takes this opportunity to restate our abiding commitment to creating a campus environment free of sexual violence that rejects all forms of sexual assault and holds all members of the OSU community accountable to be more than bystanders.

While Oregon State is a leader in the national “It’s On Us” campaign against sexual violence on college and university campuses, we need to do more.

I am writing today to announce that Oregon State will increase its many efforts to respond to and prevent sexual violence and to support survivors of such violence.

This summer, the University will open an advocacy center to confidentially provide information, guidance and emotional support for survivors of sexual violence or concerned parties. We will hire a full-time advocate and train peer advocates to assist survivors in navigating the many services that exist on and off campus. These support services will be available 24/7.

OSU is expanding staffing in the Office of Equity and Inclusion to investigate and resolve reports of sexual violence or harassment and to support survivors. As well, we have increased the number of Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) counselors within Counseling and Psychological Services, and we have created an Alcohol, Drug & Violence Prevention Center within Student Health Services.

Oregon State will host two important events in April to promote sexual violence prevention, advocate for social change and provide survivor support. On Wednesday, April 29, our campus will host “Take Back the Night,” a community demonstration in the Memorial Union Quad to publicly portray that our students and employees take a stand against sexual violence. On April 16, OSU will join other Oregon universities and colleges in airing “The Hunting Ground,” a national film that portrays the significant problem of sexual violence at colleges and universities.

Because of reports made to us of sexual assaults in the late 1990s involving OSU students, the University has retained an outside independent Title IX investigator to investigate and make recommendations regarding those cases.  We encourage anyone who believes a sexual assault case was reported to OSU, but not addressed, to contact Angelo Gomez, OSU’s Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion, by calling 541-737-0869 or by e-mail at angelo.gomez@oregonstate.edu.  Information shared will be treated as confidential and provided to the outside independent investigator hired by the university.

As well, we will ask this outside independent investigator to assist OSU in ensuring that all cases of sexual violence reported to the University since 2010 have been or are in the process of being fully resolved.  Oregon State officials have chosen to evaluate this time period, given that students enrolled beginning in 2010 may still be enrolled at the university and eligible for Title IX services and other support offered OSU students and in consideration of criminal statutes of limitation. In completing these investigations and evaluations, we will work with law enforcement as appropriate.

We want to emphasize that, while we take these steps to identify cases from the past that may warrant attention, Oregon State University addresses sexual violence very differently today than was the case before.  Today, we address cases of sexual assault where either the survivor or the suspect is a member of the OSU community, including off-campus incidents.  We support survivors of sexual violence and respect their wishes and confidentiality. We work with survivors to fully pursue conduct sanctions, including the suspension or expulsion of those OSU students who committed such an offense. And we work to prevent a recurrence. 

For more information about Oregon State University’s effort to end sexual violence and support survivors, please go to: www.oregonstate.edu/oei/sexual-harassment-and-violence-policy