UMass Amherst enlists outside agency to review sexual assault reports
AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – An investigation is being conducted by an outside agency to review sexual-based misconduct at UMass Amherst.
According to UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, Comprehensive Investigations and Consulting (CIC) has been enlisted to conduct a review of reported sexual-based misconduct at UMass, including off-campus at fraternities, going back seven years, the time-frame for records retention mandated by federal Title IX law.
Retaining CIC, comes after a protest involving about one hundred students was held at the Chancellor’s office September 24, calling for a stronger response from the university when it comes to sexual assaults.
“I am saddened and angry when I hear the stories of survivors. I am hopeful that we can channel our energies and emotions into something positive and together we can make our campus a safer and more welcoming place for all,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.
The chancellor indicated the review will include the following:
- Organize and review all reports known to be filed with any UMass Amherst office from Sept. 1, 2014 through present that involve sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or other gender-based offenses pursuant to Title IX or the Violence Against Women Act.
- Conduct an analysis of known reports and provide legal, investigative and advisory insight on the nature of the allegations or violations, their perpetrators and survivors, locations, any known aggravating factors, known outcomes, and trends relevant to alleged misconduct.
- Work with campus stakeholders, including student groups and relevant university faculty and staff, to understand current climate around sexual assault.
- Make comprehensive legal, investigative and advisory recommendations, based on the firm’s findings and national best practices, on how to enhance sexual assault prevention efforts, increase reporting of offenses, and promote a culture of transparency, communication and safety for the UMass Amherst community.
- I am saddened and angry when I hear the stories of survivors. I am hopeful that we can channel our energies and emotions into something positive and together we can make our campus a safer and more welcoming place for all.
The goal is to ensure the policies and procedures at UMass prevent sexual assault, support survivors and improve the culture on campus.