As part of Brigham Young University’s efforts to study and improve the university’s sexual assault reporting process and structure under Title IX, BYU has launched a website to obtain feedback on matters related to sexual assault. The website is part of a comprehensive study initiated by President Kevin J Worthen.
The website – feedback2016.byu.edu – is open to all, and feedback is anonymous.
"We are listening to the concerns expressed about the reporting of sexual assaults to our Title IX Office," President Worthen said. "We care deeply about the safety of our students."
Under President Worthen’s direction, the Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault is carrying out the study, addressing two primary goals:
- Identify changes that will help BYU work toward the elimination of sexual assault on campus.
- Determine how to better handle the reporting process for victims of sexual assault as sensitively and compassionately as possible consistent with the requirements of the Department of Education’s Title IX program.
The advisory council is specifically looking at potential structural changes within the university, the process for determining whether and how information is used, and the relationship between the Title IX Office and the BYU Honor Code Office.
The advisory council is led by BYU Student Life Vice President Janet S. Scharman, who formerly served as dean of students at BYU. A licensed psychologist, Scharman earned her doctoral degree from the University of Utah in counseling psychology.
There are three other members of the advisory council:
- Dr. Julie Valentine, a BYU nursing professor whose research focuses on sexual assault and violence against women.
- Dr. Ben Ogles, the dean of BYU’s College of Family, Home and Social Sciences, who came to BYU from Ohio University, where he served as chair and director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology.
- Dr. Sandra Rogers, the International Vice President at BYU and a former dean of the BYU College of Nursing.
"The members of the advisory council were chosen for their experience, expertise and concern for every student at BYU," said Scharman. "They have a deep commitment to preserving a safe campus environment where there is zero tolerance for sexual assault."
Over the last month the advisory council has reviewed feedback from students, faculty, staff, alumni and others, as well as the comments that were delivered to BYU on April 20.
This group has called and will continue to call upon others inside and outside of the university to provide added perspective and insight. "I assure you that this advisory council will study every part of the sexual assault reporting process at BYU," Scharman wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff.
In discussing the website, Scharman said, "We appreciate and value all input. The information that is gathered from this website will be an important component of this study."
The members of the advisory council are committed to carrying out a thorough and comprehensive study.
"At the conclusion of this study I believe we will have a system that people – particularly the victims of sexual assault – feel they can trust, and that creates an environment where we can effectively work to eliminate sexual assaults on campus," President Worthen said. "I have every confidence that this group will bring forward positive recommendations that will ultimately make BYU a better place."