Dear Campus Community,
Fort Valley State University is dedicated to maintaining a campus environment free from all forms of behaviors that hinder the academic process and negatively impacts those who study, work, conduct business and live here.
Last year, I appointed a Sexual Assault & Misconduct (SAM) Taskforce that was charged with examining policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct. It was also tasked with recommending appropriate programs, initiatives and training to promote a harassment-free culture that ensures we are addressing all safety and security areas of concern for our campus community.
In September, the SAM Taskforce, led by the co-chairs, Dr. Tamara Payne, and Mr. Alvin K. Lindsey, submitted a report that provided its recommendations. Along with accepting the report, I also appointed a special leadership team to review the recommendations and ensure they were robust enough to bring the University’s sexual misconduct policies in alignment with “best practices nationwide.”
We continue to devote considerable attention to fostering a respectful and safe environment at Fort Valley State. We believe this is important in order to ensure a campus culture that rejects all forms of sexual harassment or misconduct.
To support our ongoing efforts, and to further the implementation of the recommendations of the Taskforce, I have instituted the following implementation strategies, and appointed the following individuals to serve on workgroups and coordinating committees:
Policy and Protocol Revision, Structure and Organization
- Review and update all of our current policies on sexual assault and misconduct to reflect current thinking and best practices, including drafting a comprehensive Sexual Misconduct Policy for FVSU.
- Develop a resource guide/brochure on what to do if someone discloses to staff or faculty that they’ve been assaulted to serve as a quick reference and to supplement current training.
Emma Bennett-Williams, Director of Legal and Government Affairs
Tineke Battle, Chief Human Resource Officer
Patrice Terrell, Director of Contracts & Compliance /Title IX Coordinator
Wallace Keese, Dean of Students
- Consolidate all sexual misconduct policies and procedures under one umbrella; Create one repository on our website that would house all of our policies around sexual assault and misconduct and Title IX. The site should be easily accessible to members of the internal and external communities (a link off of the main page on the website).
Office of Legal Affairs
Marketing and Communications
- Review the website to ensure that all relative links to resources are active, including making sure that access to all resources can be obtained through the site.
Marketing and Communications
Office of Legal Affairs
Baseline Survey, Spring 2020
- Conduct a Sexual Assault and Misconduct-related climate survey this Spring (2020). This baseline survey would help track campus attitudes around this topic as well as help us monitor our prevention efforts over time.
Chief of Staff
VP of Student Affairs
- Campus Coordinating Committee to oversee all efforts relative to sexual assault and misconduct. The purpose of this group would be to monitor all training, policies, procedures, programming, assessments, and evaluations. Members of this group would include the following positions:
- Emma Bennett-Williams, Director of Legal and Government Affairs
- Olufunke A. Fontenot, Chief of Staff
- Director, FVSU Women’s Center, Professor Juone Brown
- Patrice Terrell, Director of Contracts & Compliance /Title IX Coordinator
- Jacqueline Caskey-James, Director of Counseling
- Frank Archer, Institutional Research Rep
- Grier, Campus Safety/Police Rep
- Alvin Lindsey (staff), Student Affairs Rep and SGA Rep
- Hamidah Sharif-Harris (graduate faculty), Faculty Rep
- Francine Hollis ( undergraduate faculty), Faculty Rep
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC).This Center will have responsibility for the following: promotes healthy relationships, teaches non-violence and equality, supports survivor healing, and fosters a respectful and safe environment for all members of the university community. It also provides educational and supportive services for members of the university community related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and stalking.
I have accepted this recommendation in principle and a Feasibility Study will be undertaken to determine the viability of a Center.
- Campus Response Team to respond to all instances/allegations of sexual assault and misconduct violations. The purpose of this team is to ensure that the responses to sexual misconduct allegations are appropriately and adequately coordinated across several areas of the university. Additionally, the team will have the responsibility of reconciling campus safety law enforcement obligations with the University’s Title IX administrative obligations. The membership of this team include:
- Patrice Terrell, Title IX, Coordinator
- Jacqueline Caskey-James, Counseling Services
- Chewan Evans, Student Conduct
- Irwin Rutherford (Counselor)
- Wallace Keese, Dean of Students
- Wheeler Brown, Assistant Director of Athletics