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Preventing Sexual Assault

CSUF Expands Comprehensive Program of Education, Outreach and Support
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Students arriving on Cal State Fullerton’s campus this fall, excited to get to know their educational home for the next four years, were provided with tools and strategies to make their Titan experience safe. As part of their orientation experience, students watched a video about preventing and reporting sexual assault and other acts of violence. This video is a part of a broader, comprehensive campaign the campus has developed to raise awareness about sexual misconduct, the rights and responsibilities of the campus community and available resources for our students.

“Our students’ safety and well-being are significant concerns of our University administration and have always been taken seriously,” said Lea Jarnagin, associate vice president for student affairs. “The video is just one of many new efforts that build upon past programs to raise awareness about sexual misconduct and other types of violence.”

Included among the new programs that have been implemented in the past year is the “It’s On Us” campaign.

“The idea is that it’s on all of us to take notice and take care of each other,” said Tonantzin Oseguera, dean of students.

As a result of the national “It’s on Us” campaign, a video was produced last semester by Associated Students Inc. To get it into the hands of every student at Cal State Fullerton, a link to the video was sent to each enrolled student. The video also was shown at various venues and to incoming students during the summer’s New Student Orientation programs.

In addition, the University’s WoMen’s Center offers the StepUp! program that provides bystander intervention training, another mandated component of the Campus SaVE Act. By empowering students to intervene, assaults can be prevented, and survivors can get the help and support they need to heal. Step Up! bystander intervention is peer-facilitated, meaning CSUF students model intervention behavior and reduce the stigma of intervening and providing help.

Administrative systems also have been enhanced to plan, implement and review these new programs, and a Title IX cross-divisional implementation steering committee meets to assess and monitor programs in place. There is also a Title IX cross-divisional case management team to monitor collaboration for care, support and accommodations for students. Additionally, this group also identifies trends so the University can better focus its educational efforts.

The CSUF University Police Department also offers training through rape defense workshops. Rape Aggression Defense, or RAD, programs are specifically designed to teach techniques for use in threatening situations. The program is offered on college and university campuses across the country and covers risk awareness/recognition, risk prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance.

As part of its compliance with the federal Clery Act, CSUF safety statistics are reported annually. In 2014, five cases of on-campus rape were reported.

“No university wants to see sexual violence occurring within the community,” said Jarnagin. “However, increased reporting is reflective of the education and outreach efforts on campus, as well as a shift in national attention to these issues encouraging reporting. We have fostered an environment where people are confident and feel supported enough to speak out and report violence. Along with other efforts, our goal is to make our campus community safe.”

To provide such safety, Cal State Fullerton has employed a full-time Confidential Advocate. The role of the Advocate is to listen to the victim, provide options, and support the student, staff or faculty survivor through the reporting and/or healing process.

“It is becoming more obvious that there are programs in place. We hear about it all the time,” said Katy Johnson, a junior majoring in kinesiology. “It makes me sad and angry that this type of thing happens at college campuses, but it’s good that the University is taking steps to address it.”