Regents take action against sexual assault

A candlelight vigil was held on the Allbritton House's lawn honoring victims of sexual assault.

Due to recent allegations of mishandling of sexual assault cases Baylor University board of Regents received and approved an action plan to improve treatment and services for victims of sexual assault.

The plan has six points of action and the goal of the plan is to “ensure that incidents of interpersonal violence are reported and investigated promptly” and that “the educational, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of victims are given prompt and priority attention.”

“We know we can and must do a better job to confront interpersonal violence in our campus community,” Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr said in an email to students. “We will learn many things from the external review that has been commissioned by Baylor Regents, and that information will guide our future plans. In the meantime, these are important action steps we can take right now to improve our services to students impacted by sexual violence, and we intend to implement these steps immediately.”

The university will give immediate funding to hire more counselors and to increase quality and quantity of space for university counselors.

“This is definitely a strong step in a good direction,” said Corpus Christi freshman Tori Pena. “I feel that Baylor has heard the cries and demands of the students when the subject of increasing need is discussed, such as more available counselors. I believe Baylor wants the best for its students and wants for this campus to be one that we can walk on comfortable knowing our school strives to make our happiness and safety a priority.”

Mandatory Title IX training will now be held annually for all upperclassmen and graduate students and be mandatory. Previously, Title IX training was only mandatory for incoming freshmen, transfer students, faculty and staff. Faculty and staff will also be required to attend Title IX training annually now.

The university will also provide funding for continuing education for all faculty or staff who provide Title IX response, support and counseling.

“Incidents of interpersonal violence on our campus break our hearts and contradict everything we believe as those who follow Christ,” Richard S. Willis, chairman of the board of regents said in an email to the students. “The administration provided us with a plan that responds immediately, directly and effectively to the needs of our students. We approved this program right away to ensure that sexual assault survivors, and those in our community with other critical counseling needs, have access to the best range of counseling services available. We know we have more work to do, and we will be eager to take further action once our independent external review is complete.”