Talk To Your Crusader

Have you talked to your Crusader about...?

Dear Parents and Family Members,

We want to take a few minutes to encourage you to speak with your student about safety issues and high risk behaviors on campus. We want our students to be safe on campus, and sometimes activities, actions or decisions made by students can take away that sense of security and safety on campus.

On college campuses throughout the nation, there is a vast issue of underreporting sexual assault. Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. At UD, we want to ensure an environment of safety and confidentiality so that, should a sexual assault take place, our students can be comfortable making a report to the appropriate party.

We ask that you speak to your children about safe behaviors versus risky behaviors, and making good decisions in social situations. We also ask that you encourage your students to make use of the resources on campus. During the fall semester, we offered a free self-defense class. In February, we offered bystander intervention training to recognize potentially harmful situations. During the month of April, we will focus on sexual assault awareness.

On January 22, 2014, the White House announced an initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses, bringing to light an issue that affects thousands of young people every year. This action by the White House is the latest in a series of federal legislation and guidelines over the years intended to address the problems associated with sexual violence on college campuses. As the University of Dallas is an educational institution that receives financial assistance from the government, UD is governed by the following:

  • In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments revised federal funding laws to prohibit sex-based discrimination in higher education.
  • In 1990, the Clery Act amended federal financial aid laws to require all participating postsecondary institutions to disclose campus crime statistics and security information.
  • In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) established federal legal definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • In 2001, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) provided guidance for colleges and universities "to ensure that employees are trained so that those with authority to address harassment know how to respond appropriately, and other responsible employees know that they are obligated to report harassment to appropriate school officials."
  • In 2011, OCR came out with additional guidelines that reiterated Title IX's guarantees that all students receive an education free from sexual harassment and violence. OCR also recommended that "all schools implement preventive education programs as part of their orientation programs for new students, faculty and staff."
  • In 2013, the Campus Save Act amended the Clery Act to mandate extensive "primary prevention and awareness programs regarding sexual misconduct and related offenses."

The message is clear: we must educate our students and staff on the topics of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. We must provide them with the resources and options for any situation involving sexual misconduct. As Crusaders, we must be willing to assist those who may be afraid to come forward or who may not know where to turn for help. 

In the event students feel they have been assaulted or harassed, we hope they feel comfortable using the resources on campus which include: Campus Safety, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, the Personal & Sexual Violence webpage and the Office of Student Affairs.

We hope that you can discuss and encourage your loved ones to make safe, informed decisions while they are at the University of Dallas and wherever they may go.

Sincerely,

The Office of Student Affairs