Sexual Assault Education & Prevention

President Reif charged Chancellor Barnhart with leading the administration’s sexual assault education and prevention efforts in February 2014. Since then, a series of actions have been taken:

Voices Get Results

The community’s voice helped get results. They shared their views through the CASA survey results, the Chancellor’s listening sessions with students, the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Task Force recommendations, and town hall meetings conducted by the Task Force on the Institute Response to Sexual Misconduct. MIT is developing more education and training, enhancing comprehensive outreach and support resources, and implementing a strategic roadmap for the future.

  • Improved Education and Training
    • Incoming undergraduate and graduate students and all faculty and staff now complete online education and prevention training.
    • Since 2015, nearly 3,000 fraternity members and undergraduates have taken part in Party-Safe Plus training, which teaches students how to host parties responsibly and includes lessons on bystander intervention.
    • In 2016 and 2017, a total of more than 1,200 sorority members completed Sorority Trainings Addressing Risk (STAR), which focuses in part on sexual assault awareness and sexual assault intervention.
    • In just over two years, 70 Pleasure@MIT student educators have conducted workshops about components of healthy, respectful relationships in more than 21 residence halls and fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. They’ve educated more than 1,000 of their peers.
    • The Title IX Office worked with students, faculty, and staff to update MIT’s sexual misconduct policy. The revised policy provides a consistent definition of sexual harassment that applies to all students, faculty, and staff.

  • More Outreach and Support Resources
    • The Title IX and Violence Prevention and Response offices have added education, prevention, community outreach, and investigatory specialists to their teams, enabling us to educate more people about how to prevent sexual misconduct from happening, and to effectively respond when incidents occur.
    • Barriers to reporting incidents have been reduced in a number of ways. The Title IX Office now offers an online reporting form and accepts annoymous reports of misconduct. Additionally, faculty on the Committee on Discipline who review cases that involve sexual misconduct receive specialized training.

What’s Next

  • Since the October 2014 release of the CASA survey results, students, faculty, and staff have come together to raise awareness about what constitutes sexual misconduct, how to prevent it, and resources that can help. Chancellor Barnhart spoke with MIT News on progress to date, and new efforts to combat sexual assault at MIT.
  • Committee on Discipline rules for complaints of sexual misconduct are now in effect. The revised rules aim to make the process more accessible and streamlined, while still ensuring fairness for everyone who participates.
  • As President Reif noted in his November 2017 letter to the community, a new student survey will be administered in the 2018-19 Academic Year.

Get Involved

To get involved in the Chancellor’s sexual assault education & prevention work, email AllThingsStudents@mit.edu.

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