Message from President Thomas J. Haas
Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas sent a message to the campus community February 16:
Dear Campus Community,
I have committed to ongoing communication with you regarding our efforts to ensure our campus remains a safe and healthy environment for all students, faculty, and staff – free from sexual- or gender-based harassment or violence of any kind.
Grand Valley continually reviews and assesses its policies, procedures, and practices related to sexual misconduct. Those policies are available at www.gvsu.edu/titleix.
Our commitment to and action in preventing sexual violence is multipronged: we focus on prevention, awareness, education, and response. A robust program of resources and personnel are maintained on-campus to support these efforts. In addition, we have established strong partnerships with community agencies and organizations to offer extended and external support. The University also provides resources and training in both the reporting of and response to sexual misconduct.
Let me be clear. Sexual misconduct and harassment are prohibited at Grand Valley and employees are required to contact the Title IX Office to report any related or possible misconduct. Survivors of sexual assault are always encouraged to report to the Grand Valley Police Department.
If you have any questions about reporting mechanisms, responsibilities or available resources, do not hesitate to contact any of the following offices:
· Grand Valley Police Department
· University Counseling Center
To complement our regular and ongoing efforts, I conducted a cabinet-level review of practices and procedures which confirmed the University’s compliance with the Clery Act and Title IX. In addition, administrative review teams have identified themes emerging in national conversations as well as initial recommendations to even further align efforts with best practices. Along these lines, we have made the decision to move forward with a search for a new full-time Victim Advocate expanding current efforts being filled by staff in the Center for Women and Gender Equity. Training and policy enhancements are also under consideration, as well as ongoing review and assessment.
I am proud that we are a campus that values and maintains open communication, transparency, and builds strong relationships across administrative and academic units. We encourage and thrive on information sharing and discourage insular actions. This culture of transparency and accountability will not be deterred.
Your safety is my top priority. My Cabinet and I will continue to be directly engaged in creating an even safer Grand Valley, and will update you regularly.
Thomas J. Haas