Posted in Messages
Dear Johns Hopkins community:
In recent years, we—along with other colleges and universities across the country—have confronted and addressed a number of complex issues surrounding sexual assault and the steps we must take to protect our campuses. As a community, we have worked to determine how best to prevent sexual misconduct of all kinds. We have enlisted the help of experts in our response to incidents and in our support for those affected. We have worked diligently to educate every member of our community. And, while we have made mistakes, we have held ourselves accountable and continue to improve.
This month, we enacted a new sexual misconduct policy that consolidates various policies into a single, comprehensive approach, and streamlines the investigation and adjudication process. The policy, available here, represents months of hard work and broad consultation with students, faculty, and staff from across the university. I am grateful for the commitment of these individuals, whose contributions have strengthened the critical framework of our efforts.
Of course, our progress as a community depends not only on robust policies but on a constellation of ongoing efforts to combat sexual violence on our campuses. The report, available here, describes the trajectory of those efforts, highlighting the important work our community has undertaken over the past year. It is not meant to imply that we are satisfied or will become complacent; our efforts in this arena are very much a work in progress. Our work is guided by the federal requirements of the Title IX statute and the 2013 Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act. It is shaped by our interactions with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which is investigating our response to reports of misconduct. It is framed by our understanding that a victim is never to blame for a sexual assault. And it is rooted in our fundamental commitment to ensuring our processes are responsive, compassionate, fair, and transparent. I urge you to review the report.
Over the past year, whether serving on the Provost’s Sexual Violence Advisory Committee, participating in Title IX training, asking challenging questions at town hall forums, or appearing in the Johns Hopkins video for the It’s On Us campaign, members of our community have advocated for change, offered input on policies, and learned new ways to stop problems. This collective and ongoing commitment inspires my confidence that we will—together—continue to build a campus climate that is healthy and safe for all, and an institution that lives up to our highest ideals.
Ronald J. Daniels