October 14, 2015
Recent reported sexual assaults on and off campus have significantly troubled us and left students understandably concerned. While we have shared as much as we can, we are limited on what can be shared due to the confidential nature of criminal investigations into the crime of rape and victim/survivor confidentiality. Police Chief Anne Glavin provided an update of the relevant facts of these cases with the Sundial and via timely campus crime alerts. Each of these terrible incidents resulted in communications from the Department of Police Services as soon as we had information to release. While the facts of each case differ, any sexual assault is absolutely intolerable. We are here for the victims/survivors in whatever way possible.
At CSUN, we believe that all students have the right to live, learn and work in an environment free of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. We do not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, whether it is harassment, sexual and gender-based violence, relationship or intimate-partner abuse or stalking. No one - regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation - should ever feel intimidated or threatened on the basis of sex or gender. Everyone should feel confident that others would stand up and support them if they were harmed. The entire CSUN community has a shared responsibility to create an environment where sexual violence is unacceptable. Further, when a university investigation determines that sexual misconduct has occurred, we impose punishments up to and including expulsion. We also act to protect and support victims/survivors throughout the process and cooperate fully with any criminal investigation, including providing a campus-funded confidential advocate to support victims/survivors through the process.
Sexual violence prevention has always been a priority. CSUN has a variety of sexual assault prevention and awareness programs and resources. The following summary of campus activities, in addition to our ongoing programs, are part of an expanded set of initiatives we are taking to lead even more assertive efforts to combat sexual violence toward the goal of eradicating it at CSUN. (Expanded information on these activities is also available on the Office of Equity and Diversity website.)
- The President's Committee on Sexual Violence Prevention is dedicated to developing, coordinating and promoting effective campus efforts toward the prevention and elimination of sexual violence.
- CSUN is currently 1 of 14 universities in the nation to participate in a pilot program partnering with Culture of Respect (COR) and its team of experts to employ research-informed leading practices in campus sexual violence prevention.
- In fall 2014, CSUN began its "Shine a Light" campaign to bring awareness to issues of sexual and gender-based violence and abuse. CSUN also created a university website to provide clear and comprehensive information so victims/survivors can anonymously obtain all relevant information.
- The new freshmen class, incoming transfer students, and student clubs and organizations received educational 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.
- Last year, all matriculated undergraduate students were required to complete mandatory online training on issues of sexual violence. Presently, all first-time freshmen, transfer, and graduate students are required to complete "Not Anymore," a video-based online program educating students on sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. All faculty and staff are required to take a similar training program.
- CSUN also provides a range of programs and activities 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.
- Since July, CSUN has provided the university community with the additional confidential support service of CSUN's first-ever, full-time dedicated sexual assault victim advocate, Katelin (Katie) LaRue.
- 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 the Department of Kinesiology (with police trainers) as well.
- 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.
- The Matadors Step-Up bystander-intervention education program 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.
Any student interested in attending any fraternity or sorority recruitment or informational event must complete Greek-Life Pre-Recruitment Education Program (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.
Ongoing Resources for Victims/Survivors
- Strength United (818-886-0453): a CSUN community resource chartered through CSUN's Michael D. Eisner 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, Katie LaRue (818-677-7692): support and advocacy
- CSUN (Anonymous) HelpLine (818-349-4357)
- Title IX Coordinator (818-677-2077): advice and support for all Title IX-related cases
- Department of Police Services (818-677-2111): resource for reporting all sexual violence crimes for criminal investigation, information on and assistance with protective orders, personal safety plans, crime prevention information and self-defense training (RAD)
- 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 victims/survivors
With the increased attention on sexual assault prevention and the increased resources available to victims/survivors, we expect the number of reports of sexual violence to increase. However, this is just one step toward eliminating sexual violence at CSUN.
We've already heard from members of the campus community, sharing their thoughts on how we can collectively combat sexual violence. We encourage this feedback and encourage anyone who has additional comments to share it with us as this helps the campus to improve our efforts in this critical arena. Only in working together can we create a safer environment for all students to learn and thrive.
Dianne F. Harrison, President
William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Anne Glavin, Chief of Police
Susan Hua, Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity and Title IX Coordinator