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Oct. 7, 2014
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill visited Northwest Missouri State University Tuesday as part of her “Claire on Campus” tour to talk directly with Northwest students, faculty, staff and local public safety leaders about ways to combat sexual violence on campus.
McCaskill is leading a series of listening sessions at 10 colleges and universities across Missouri as part of her tour to discuss sexual violence on campuses. During the tour, McCaskill also is collecting feedback on her bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting and empowering students while strengthening accountability and transparency at colleges and universities.
After Tuesday’s invitation-only forum at Northwest, McCaskill commended the University for its aggressive implementation of Title IX policies and for taking meaningful steps to help students understand what systems and support services are available to them.
“I was encouraged by how many students were here and the great dialogue we had from them,” McCaskill said.
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski noted Northwest has been a leader in compliance with Title IX, the Clery Act, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and other applicable regulations. The University also continues to dedicate significant resources aimed at preventing sexual misconduct and responding to reports in an appropriate and timely manner.
“Complying with Title IX requirements is a priority at Northwest, as it is at many colleges and universities nationwide,” Jasinski said. “Northwest is committed to providing its students, faculty and staff with an excellent and healthy educational environment that is free from sexual misconduct or threats thereof and that supports open communication about those issues.”
In the last year, Northwest has updated its Title IX policy; identified Title IX coordinators; and provided training for its Title IX coordinators, investigators, victim advocate, University Police, Board of Regents, Northwest Leadership Team, Title IX Hearing Board and all supervisors. This fall, the University implemented required online training for all students, faculty and staff.
Northwest provides ongoing programming through Residential Life and its peer education group, Coalition Against Violence. It also has implemented Greek Life Risk Management Policy and Procedures, and its “Safe Rides” program serves as a harm reduction strategy.
This fall, Northwest opened a new University Police Department facility to increase efficiencies in its investigations. Northwest also formed the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in collaboration with its local prosecutor, law enforcement, wellness staff and local leaders; SART was originally funded through a grant and is maintained with local funding.
In July, McCaskill and a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act which proposes the establishment of stiff penalties for non-compliance with the legislation’s new standards for training, data and best practices.
“We support this legislation,” Jasinski said. “We’ve taken a lead role at Northwest Missouri State University and we’ll continue to be in the lead on this because we think it’s critical.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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