President Nellis shares his concern for our community; actions the University is taking to increase safety
Photo courtesy of: University Communications and MarketingPresident Dr. M. Duane Nellis
Like all of you, I too am troubled by the reports of sexual violence that have occurred on our campus since classes resumed. Thank you for your care and concern for our students and our community.
Please know that this all weighs heavily on me and I have struggled to focus on little else but worrying about the safety and well-being of our students. As you know, I have communicated such sentiments to the University community through email and so have others including Dr. Pina, Title IX Coordinator Griffin, Dr. Hall-Jones, Chief Powers and Chief Pyle. We even began the year by addressing rape culture by denouncing the sexually explicit banners that appeared on some off-campus houses during welcome week in our first message.
While this is not a problem unique to our campus, we are concerned and outraged because it is on our campus, to our students, in our community. Even though these reports are disturbing, if it is happening, we want to know so we can help.
Knowing I am not the only one fielding questions regarding what we are doing to support our students and keep everyone on our Athens campus safe, I thought it would be helpful to share a one-point resource for each of you to use that will be updated often and provides the most up-to-date information regarding our current efforts:
Please note that this is simply a snapshot, not a comprehensive list of what is being done at our University to support survivors, promote safety, and provide education. Also, I want to share a link to a resource developed by the Dean of Students Office that can help you know what you should do if a student reports to you that they are a survivor of sexual misconduct. It is the responsibility of all of us to change the culture at Ohio University and to nurture a culture of respect where everyone feels safe.
Finally, last year, we reconvened the Presidential Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct (PACSM). That group has been working diligently over the past year to engage the campus community and develop additional programming to combat sexual violence. They have created www.ohio.edu/ending-sexual-misconduct to provide a robust resource to our campus community to help arm everyone with information they need to fight rape culture.
Thank you again for your continued care and concern. I appreciate all that you are doing to promote a community and culture of respect for everyone.
M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D.