September 24, 2022

USU Eastern implements Lauren’s Law requirements

Daryn Mason sports editor

Utah State University Eastern is successfully implementing Lauren’s Law on its campuses and it has been working on improving  campus safety for a while now.

According to Tim Vitale, the associate vice president of communications at Utah State University,  USU has implemented all of the requirements in the law. We already had been working on, or had completed, many of the requirements before the law was implemented, including many policy and procedural changes.  We’ve made great improvements over the last few years in addressing sexual violence in the campus community, including in how we provide information to our students and employees about seeking services and reporting sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking. 

USU includes our campus safety plan through our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (in compliance with the Clery Act).

·Title IX oversight at Utah State was overhauled, resulting in several new staff members: a new sexual misconduct prevention coordinator, Title IX Coordinator, executive director of the Office of Equity (formerly Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity), a supportive measures coordinator and a new investigator to focus on USU’s statewide campuses.

·More than $100,000 was invested to add 50-plus new security cameras across campus in strategic locations.

·Fraternity and Sorority Life was reorganized to provide better oversight and accountability, and USU hired a new fraternity and sorority life coordinator.

·A new advisory board was convened to engage community members, alumni and sexual violence experts in USU’s efforts to prevention and response efforts.

·The Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information office was moved from Student Affairs to the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology to increase internship opportunities in the program and provide expert oversight. Two additional staff members were hired through university funds and two were hired through federal grant funding.

·USU implemented a second sexual misconduct survey for student participation in order to gauge changes in student experiences and attitudes since 2017.

·USU launched the Upstanding bystander intervention program on campus in fall 2017. USU trains all new students who take the freshman success course (65% of new students) in active bystander intervention, and further reinforces a culture of “upstanding” through social marketing campaigns. In addition, the Upstanding training is provided to all student government and club leaders and by request to classes and clubs.

·USU requires all new students (including transfer students) to complete an online sexual assault prevent course, and enforces this mandate with a registration hold.

·USU released the Utah State Safe app in fall 2019 to improve how the university provides information about crimes and emergencies on campus, as well as provide tools to enhance the personal safety of students and employees. These tools can be included as part of a safety plan and include:

 A “virtual walk” feature that allows an individual to request USU Public Safety monitor their travel to and from campus destinations.

“Chat with Public Safety” that allows individuals to chat directly with a dispatcher to report a crime or safety issue.

· USU provides a landing page for sexual violence where community members can find resources, explore reporting options to the university and police, and learn about USU’s prevention efforts. This is also provided as a printed resource guide and distributed by all campus and community partners to survivors of sexual and relationship ·USU’s SAAVI office provides presentations and trainings on healthy relationships and sexual consent to all fraternity and sorority life members, as well as by request to any class, club, or group on campus.

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