The University of Virginia has posted a proposed new student sexual misconduct policy and is seeking comments on the proposal from students, faculty, staff and the community.
The policy was last revised in July 2011, and many of the changes at that time were made in response to a “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights earlier that year.
A number of significant legal developments have occurred since then. In April, the Office for Civil Rights issued additional guidance to all colleges and universities regarding sexual violence and Title IX, and last month the Department of Education issued final regulations implementing changes to the federal Clery Act. These changes, required by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, take effect July 1.
University officials said the proposed new policy incorporates the Office for Civil Rights recommendations while also addressing the substantives changes in the law.
“We believe the proposed policy complies with all the recent legal changes and reflects the University’s experience in responding to student sexual misconduct reports and complaints over the last several years,” U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “The revised policy represents the culmination of many hours of work and the tireless dedication of staff to ensure that the University of Virginia remains proactive in our efforts in addressing sexual misconduct in our community.”
“We hope that members of the University community will carefully review the proposed policy and give us feedback,” Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Susan Davis said.
The policy is available for review online here. The website includes an executive summary which summarizes the proposed changes. The public comment period ends Dec. 5.