Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Chancellor John Carey welcomed more than 300 students and Title IX coordinators to the first-ever student summit dedicated to discussing ways to empower students to end sexual violence on Ohio college campuses. The summit brought national activists, safety experts and students together to learn about best practices aimed at eliminating sexual assault.
“One sexual assault on any Ohio campus is one too many,” said Chancellor Carey. “In combination with stronger prevention, awareness and professional response to sexual violence, students across Ohio are learning how they can change attitudes and look out for one another. It is encouraging to see the passion students bring to this serious issue,” Carey added.
Titled the Generation IX: Our Time. Our Power. Our Voices., the student summit is one component of the nation’s first comprehensive statewide collaboration to eliminate sexual violence on college campuses. During the past year, public and private two-and-four-year colleges focused on completing benchmark and campus climate surveys while the state sponsored initiative provided training for prevention, intervention and response geared to campus safety professionals and other staff.
While many of the summit’s breakout sessions concentrate on student advocacy and activism, the luncheon speaker, former Ohio State University Provost and current Oregon State University President Edward Ray will discuss his university’s efforts to stop campus sexual violence and his personal leadership in the effort. President Ray made headlines in 2014 when he apologized to a rape victim personally and on behalf of the university for the handling of the investigation surrounding her assault. The victim now leads victim advocacy and awareness efforts at Oregon State University.
ODHE was charged with developing model best practices for preventing and responding to campus sexual assault and has allocated a total of $2 million to support this work. To gain a better understanding of the diverse needs of Ohio’s colleges and universities, input was sought and received from campus presidents, advocacy groups, and campus and community experts statewide. As a result of this collaborative approach, ODHE released the “Changing Campus Culture: Preventing and Responding to Campus Sexual Violence” report and recommendations, which build upon the existing work already underway on many Ohio college and university campuses. The report is available at https://www.ohiohighered.org/ccc.
To date, 100 percent of Ohio’s public colleges and universities and more than 80 percent of Ohio’s private colleges and universities participated in the climate survey, which provides important data on reports of violence. Of equal importance, the effort heightens awareness of the issue and sends a message of zero tolerance that is crucial to culture change on all campuses.
About the Ohio Department of Higher Education
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.
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