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UM System revises sexual misconduct rules

Tuesday, the University of Missouri System announced changes to its policy on responding to sexual misconduct.

So far this year, there have been six Title IX violations reported on the Mizzou campus. Three of them were this month.

The biggest change is that UM System President Tim Wolfe created an equity resolution process. It is a panel made up of administrators other than faculty. They will evaluate bigger cases of sexual misconduct that need to be investigated.

John Fougere with the UM System said the panel and the addition of the full-time Title IX coordinator this year makes it easier for anyone to report an incident.

John Fougere, University of Missouri System: “We want to encourage more people to come forward and feel comfortable coming forward, that’s the important point. Because if we have a process in place where they can come and report to the Title IX coordinator who then knows where to go with that investigation and at the same time have employees who learn of an allegation, now they have a place they can go.”

In April, Wolfe made it mandatory for all university employees to report any cases of sexual assault. Tuesday, another policy change will made the requirements to report those cases much simpler.

The definition of sex discrimination was also included in the revision. And the clarification that the university prohibits all students, employees, volunteers and visitors from sexual discrimination.

Fougere said the UM System’s long-term goal is to become an organization other higher education systems look to as the model of how to prioritize safety and security of the students, faculty and staff, especially when it comes to the issue of sexual misconduct and discrimination.

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