New and Existing Campus Initiatives Against Sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Violence, and Interpersonal Abuse
Preventing sexual misconduct is a priority at CSUN. The following activities, in addition to our ongoing programs, are part of an expanded set of initiatives we are taking tolead even more assertive efforts to combat sexual misconduct toward the goal of eradicating it at CSUN.
The President’s Committee on Sexual Violence Prevention. The committee constitutes a diverse group of students, faculty, staff and local community crisis intervention professionals dedicated to developing, coordinating and promoting effective campus efforts toward the prevention and elimination of sexual violence. The cross-divisional group meets regularly to provide recommendations for improvements in sexual violence prevention policies and practices, programming, the investigative and disciplinary processes, and to ensure that resources for victims/survivors are comprehensive, trauma-informed, and culturally-sensitive.
Culture of Respect (COR) Pilot Participant. In 2015 - 2016, CSUN was 1 of 14 universities in the nation to participate in a pilot program partnering with COR and its team of experts to employ research-informed leading practices in campus sexual violence prevention. As part of the pilot program, CSUN conducted a self-assessment, identified areas for improvement in prevention and response to sexual violence, and implemented both short and long term goals to ensure that our efforts lead collaboratively to the best model for social change. With positive results from the pilot program, CSUN is now part of a collective of college and universities continuing to work with COR. Our goal remains to build even greater capacity for survivor support with reporting options; multi-tiered prevention education; public disclosure of the issue; clear policies on adjudication and penalties; school-wide mobilization/empowerment of campus activist organizations; and on-going self-assessment.
CSUN Community Against Sexual Violence. In Fall 2014, CSUN began its “Shine a Light” campaign to bring awareness to issues of sexual and gender-based violence and abuse. The campaign, largely influenced by student input, acts as a collective voice for the CSUN community against sexual violence with the aim of empowering students to play a personal role in fostering a safe and respectful campus climate. CSUN also created a university website (www.csun.edu/shinealight) to provide clear and comprehensive information so victims/survivors can anonymously and privately obtain all relevant information, any time of day or night.
Educational Programming. The new freshmen class, incoming transfer students, and student clubs and organizations receive training focused on maintaining healthy relationships, establishing affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity, the critical role of bystanders in intervening when they see potentially dangerous situations unfolding around them, preventing alcohol from clouding decision-making and other important issues, including how the University responds to reports of sexual violence. As part of New Student Orientation, students are asked to participate in “Classrooms and Community” sessions focused on student safety and well-being and in which they are made aware of CSUN’s policy prohibiting sexual harassment and sexual violence, support resources, and consequences for violations of the policy. New students also attended a theatrical performance by TAKE, demonstrating some of the transitional issues that incoming students could face, including sexual assault.
All matriculated undergraduate and graduate students are required to complete mandatory online training on issues of sexual violence, including affirmative consent and bystander intervention. CSUN currently uses the program “Not Anymore,” a video-based online program educating students on sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. As with any training tool, it is one of many important components of a campaign towards the elimination of sexual violence at CSUN. All faculty and staff are required to take a similar training program.
In addition to providing in-person training, the Office of Equity and Diversity has distributed to students CSUN’s Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination, Rights and Options brochures, and “Student Resources and Reporting Options for Sexual Violence and Relationship Abuse” pamphlets, which provide information on CSUN’s policy and procedures regarding sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; myths and facts about sexual violence, risk reduction tips, and confidential and non-confidential resources – both on and off campus. The New Student Handbook has also been updated to reflect the University’s response to incidents of sexual misconduct and includes resources for students.
CSUN also provides a range of programs and activities to students which are organized directly by students. Project D.A.T.E. is a peer education program, in which students provide classroom presentations on sexual violence prevention and resources. Project D.A.T.E., in collaboration with University Counseling Services and Strength United, also organizes CSUN’s annual S.A.A.F.E. week in April. Training on sexual harassment and sexual violence continues to be provided for faculty and staff, both online and in person, through the Office of Human Resources in partnership with the Office of Equity and Diversity.
Men CARE (Creating Attitudes for Rape-Free Environments), formed in 2016 and comprises a group of undergraduate and graduate male students at CSUN as a unique collaboration between Strength United and University Counseling Services. The centerpiece of Men CARE is peer education for men, by men, through small group discussion, workshops, and outreach events. Men CARE is to involve male students from every aspect of the campus community including fraternities, athletics, residential advising, and cultural organizations.
More Support Services and Resources. In partnership with Strength United, CSUN provides the university community and particularly, survivors of sexual misconduct, with confidential support and advocacy services through its Care Advocate (sexual assault victim’s advocate), Paria Zandi. Ms. Zandi provides crisis intervention and ongoing support services, including accompaniment to reporting and investigative proceedings and assists with campus wide prevention activities.The addition of Ms. Zandi to the CSUN community strengthens the University’s robust network of support services and commitment to providing victims of sexual misconduct with access to trauma-informed care. CSUN’s network of support resources already includes the Campus Title IX Coordinator who monitors and oversees issues related to discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, including the investigation and resolution of complaints of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct along with training for students, faculty and staff. CSUN has also designated and trained three additional university staff members as Deputy Title IX Coordinators, and hired an additional investigator to handle Title IX cases.
The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program has been offered by CSUN’s Department of Police Services for more than 15 years as a means of providing empowerment tools and self-defense strategies. This course is available for course credit through Kinesiology (with police trainers) as well.
In continued efforts to provide comprehensive support services to victims of sexual violence, the university has established an agreement with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles (NLSLA) to provide students with referrals to legal services pertaining to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking where victims/survivors can obtain assistance with protective orders, housing, immigration, and public benefits. Additionally, we hope to coordinate opportunities for NLSLA staff to provide training on legal rights and protective resources to members of our campus community.
Campus Climate Survey. CSUN administers a student climate survey biennially during the spring semester to better assess the campus climate surrounding issues of sexual violence, including information on our efforts to prevent sexual violence and ensure support for survivors. This voluntary and anonymous survey is sent to all students in hopes that the responses will better inform our policies, practices, and programming around issues of sexual misconduct for a safer campus community.
Matadors Step-Up. Is a bystander intervention education program that teaches members of the CSUN community how to intervene effectively in situations that could endanger the health or safety of others. Learn how to step up from our CSUN student athletes.
Greek-Life Pre-Recruitment Education Program (PREP). Any student interested in attending any fraternity or sorority recruitment or informational event must complete in its entirety, PREP, an online program which includes topics on the University’s policy against sexual violence, identifying various forms of sexual violence, consent, the effects of alcohol and drug use, and how to seek help. Students will not be permitted to attend any Greek event without showing proof of having completed PREP.
Ongoing Resources for Victims/Survivors
- Strength United (818-886-0453): a CSUN community resource chartered through CSUN’s College of Education, Strength United provides confidential 24-hour crisis counseling and a response team of certified advocates ready to assist victims/survivors with obtaining medical assistance and resources, including accompanying a victim/survivor to the Center for Assault Treatment Services at Northridge Hospital; assisting with the initiation of a university and/or criminal investigation and accompanying victims/survivors to investigative proceedings and adjudication hearings; and other forms of advocacy and support.
- Campus Care Advocate, Paria Zandi (818-677-7492): support and advocacy services
- CSUN (Anonymous) HelpLine (818-349-4357)
- Title IX Coordinator, Susan Hua (818-677-2077): advice and support for all Title IX-related cases
- Department of Police Services (818-677-2111): safety and assistance with criminal investigations and protective orders
- University Counseling Services (818-677-2366): ongoing emotional support and counseling
- Klotz Student Health Center (818-677-3666): medical attention
- Center for Assault Treatment Services at Northridge Hospital: (818-885-8500): forensic medical exam and treatment for survivors
Please also see existing campus programming and initiatives aimed at preventing and ending sexual violence.
In an ongoing effort to inform the community of the commitment at CSUN to foster a safe, respectful, and responsible educational environment, we share the following information to promote transparency and public accountability relative to reports and complaints of sexual misconduct. To protect the privacy of those involved, the information contained in the annual report is anonymized.