Letter to the Mason community.
In August of last year, I invited a group of faculty, staff, students, and community members to come together to serve on a university-wide Task Force on Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence. Faculty and practitioners brought their considerable experience and expertise to this issue in the areas of prevention, education, research, intervention, support, and response. I want to thank all the members of this group, and co-chairs Rose Pascarell and Kim Eby, for an important piece of work that will make a big difference in life at Mason.
I asked the Task Force to provide me with a set of recommendations ensuring that we employ a comprehensive campus-wide approach to eradicating sexual assault and interpersonal violence. The report contains short- and long-term recommendations, which we are in the process of implementing. I invite you to read through it. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to email Task Force co-chairs Rose Pascarell (email@example.com) or Kim Eby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To date, there have been several community-wide and student-led initiatives that have brought issues of sexual violence to the forefront. However, to create an even stronger environment of prevention, safety, compassion, and intervention, we need everyone’s commitment and the participation of all in our community. A great place to start is by taking Mason’s Pledge to End Sexual Violence. The pledge provides one opportunity for us to stand in solidarity with each other to end sexual violence.
Mason is not alone in combatting sexual assault. Last year I was asked by Governor McAuliffe to join his Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence. The Task Force, which has been hard at work for the last six months under the guidance of the Attorney General, includes experts, educators, law enforcement, two university presidents and two cabinet members. Minutes of the meetings and preliminary recommendations are available online.
I remain strongly committed to this issue. It is one that deeply impacts the lives of so many of our students and their families. Thank you for taking the time to read the report and to think about how you can contribute.