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A Message About Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

April 28, 2022

Dear Stony Brook University faculty, staff, and students:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, thus providing us an opportunity to engage our community through raising awareness and furthering education on this important topic. In this message, I want to share updates on what we are doing to build a culture rooted in respect for each other, and reaffirm our intolerance for sexual misconduct.

The Office of Equity and Access (OEA) just released a progress report that recognizes the 50th anniversary of Title IX, notes the gains that we have made in society as a result of this groundbreaking law, and highlights the ways in which Stony Brook University has responded. The report also includes statistics on the number of allegations of sexual misconduct that have been handled by OEA during the past three years, along with information and FAQs about our process to aid both those who file reports and respondents who face allegations. This is a vital step in being as open as we can be about these issues. OEA staff plan to issue a progress report at least annually to the community.

We each bear responsibility ensuring that Stony Brook can be a safe environment for all community members. If you or someone you know is or has experienced sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, stalking, or intimate partner violence, it is important that you ReportIt to OEA. You do not need to go to a supervisor, manager, or faculty member before contacting OEA.

We must do all that we can to prevent and address sexual misconduct, harassment, and sexual assault in our community. In support of that goal, we recently hired two new staff members in our Title IX office, including a director of investigations and an additional investigator. We have also established a task force made up of faculty, staff, and students to gain input and suggestions for improving how we educate the community about these issues and the processes and policies that guide our work in this area. We are also in the process of determining how to incorporate components of the AAU Principles on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia into our Stony Brook approach.

I implore each of you to help us redouble our efforts to raise awareness and support and protect anyone who has been impacted by this kind of behavior. We each play a role in creating an inclusive environment that is free of discrimination, sexual misconduct, and violence. Please make yourself familiar with university policies, and join me in these efforts.


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Maurie McInnis