Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Safeguards Reaffirm Drexel's Zero Tolerance
November 30, 2017
Dear Students and Colleagues,
The recent disclosures across the nation of allegations of sexual misconduct by well-known individuals in various fields— including higher education — demonstrates the need for vigilance to ensure that Drexel University maintains its zero-tolerance policy concerning all forms of sexual harassment and misconduct, including, but not limited, to sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual abuse, stalking, intimate partner violence and any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Although no institution or organization is immune from this problem, our University takes seriously its obligation to address sexual violence and misconduct, and to ensure the safety of students and other members of the University community — both on and off campus and on co-op placements. The culture and conversation around sexual misconduct have been rapidly evolving, and Drexel has taken a number of steps to remain current and proactive.
Drexel's policies and procedures for addressing complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct have been reviewed by national experts, whose recommendations helped guide us in making improvements. We've centralized the flow of information in a way that respects everyone and ensures that individuals affected by these issues are fully supported. The Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) serves as the hub for all Title IX and sexual assault prevention and reporting efforts, and oversees the consistent enforcement of our Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct Policy. In addition, OED works with an integrated team of individuals from across the University and throughout all levels of our organization to address reports of misconduct.
As I noted in April during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Drexel is committed to building a culture of nonviolence and mutual respect. This commitment includes raising awareness of sexual misconduct. I encourage any member of the University community to report suspected instances of sexual harassment or misconduct by contacting the Office of Equality and Diversity, or if anonymity is preferred, please use the Drexel University Ethics Point hotline at 866.358.1010.
While we have every reason to be confident in the effectiveness of our current process, I have asked Drexel Human Resources and the Office of Equality and Diversity to complete a holistic review of all of the University's relevant policies and procedures to make sure we are utilizing the most current and best practices.