Collective Statement from the University of Oregon’s Care and Advocacy Program, Prevention Services, Student Survivor Legal Services, and Women’s Center on the Final Title IX Guidance from the Department of Education
On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education (DOE) released the long-awaited updated guidance mandating how colleges and universities across the nation must investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity. As programs that respond to and work toward the elimination of gender-based violence, we are deeply concerned with how several aspects of the newly released guidance will affect the University of Oregon community.
We understand that parts of the DOE guidance may discourage student survivors from reporting or accessing services at all. In addition, this guidance was released at a time of increased uncertainty and isolation for survivors and the nation. We are additionally concerned about the impacts this new guidance could have on the UO’s marginalized student survivors who we know experience additional systemic barriers to reporting and accessing services.
In the coming weeks and months, the UO will carefully review the new regulations with the input of stakeholders from across campus and determine how to implement the new requirements. What is not changing with this new guidance is our programs’ unwavering commitment to supporting survivors. We are still seeking answers as to how this new guidance will impact the UO’s adjudication processes, but our offices remain dedicated to advocating for students’ rights and healing. We look forward to working with other UO partners to implement this guidance and will advocate that the implementation occurs in the most trauma-informed, survivor-centered way. Through the adapted ways of navigating the university reporting processes, we will continue to provide legal, supportive, and preventative services and will remain guided by survivors in our efforts.
For confidential advocacy services, you can contact the Care and Advocacy Program by calling 541-346-3216 or visiting safe.uoregon.edu; you can also receive 24-hour support by calling 541-346-SAFE (7233). To learn more about and to request a consult with Student Survivor Legal Services, you can visit ssls.uoregon.edu. To learn more about the UO’s Prevention Services, including sexual violence prevention initiatives, you can visit dos.uoregon.edu/prevention. To learn more about support and services from the UO Women’s Center, you can visit dos.uoregon.edu/women.
If you wish to give input around the UO’s implementation of the new DOE regulations, please follow the link to submit comments to be reviewed and considered by the UO’s working group: https://investigations.uoregon.edu/annual-review-title-ix-adjudication-procedures.
To student survivors affiliated with the University of Oregon: we believe you, we support you, and we continue to advocate for you.
Support Happens Here
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating or domestic violence, gender-based harassment or bullying, and/or stalking and need help, start here. We have staff available 24 hours a day for confidential advice and assistance. Even if you are unsure what to do, call 541‑346‑7233 (SAFE) and you’ll be connected with somebody who will listen to you and help guide you as you figure out what you want to do next. We are here to support you and help provide the assistance and services you need.
If you are a faculty or staff member who has been contacted by a student who has experienced sexual harassment (in any form), please call the Office of the Dean of Students at 541-346-3216 so we can help you provide appropriate support and referral to resources. If you are a faculty or staff member that wants support for an incident involving you or another faculty or staff member and it is an emergency, please contact 9‑1‑1. If there is no immediate danger to you or others, please contact the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance at 541‑346‑3123.
The university does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its programs or activities. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University of Oregon’s Title IX Coordinator, who is located in the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Department of Education, Western Region Office for Civil Rights.
Office of the Dean of Students COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
Like the rest of the University of Oregon community, the Care and Advocacy Program within the Office of the Dean of Students has been carefully following the news and guidance about COVID-19. In order to promote social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Dean of Students office is currently operating with reduced staffing levels and has transitioned to offering most services remotely.
We have therefore crafted a plan to maintain our services for students and the greater university community. At this time, we have decided to make some adjustments to our services which we will reassess as the situation evolves. Until further notice we will provide services in the following ways:
- The Office of the Dean of Students in-person drop-in hours will shift to remote or distance support through phone, email, or video conference available from 1:00–4:30 p.m.
- Care and Advocacy Program Title IX in-person student support meetings and other in-office meetings are temporarily suspended. Our team will connect with students individually to arrange phone or video conferences or will make other individual arrangements as needed until further notice.
- Title IX medical and law enforcement advocacy will take place over the phone. We are working with the University Health Services and UOPD to arrange for phone advocacy services and referrals for student survivors.
- Our 24/7 SAFE Hotline will continue to operate as usual at 541-346-SAFE (7233).
We recognize that these steps will impact survivors and students throughout our community and it was hard for us to make these decisions. However, our highest priority must be to protect the health and safety of all students, our staff, and the community. We will continue to follow guidance from Lane County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Oregon. If you have any questions about our policies or services, contact us at 541-346-3216. The 24/7 SAFE Hotline is always available to sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment survivors, their partners, and their families; the hotline can be reached at 541-346-SAFE (7233).
We will keep this website updated as the situation progresses. Thank you for your understanding and patience as together we work to sustain the health and well-being of our campus community.