Chancellor releases first Annual Report on Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment

Priyanka Karthikeyan/File

Related Posts

Chancellor Carol Christ and Special Faculty Adviser to the Chancellor on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Sharon Inkelas released the first Annual Report on Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment, or SVSH, on Monday morning.

The report focuses on issues concerning SVSH on campus and the resources offered to survivors and others affected by SVSH. The report also focuses on four key areas: prevention, survivor support, incident rates and response.

“This report comes at a time when, more than ever, we need to recognize our responsibility as a campus to ensure the health and safety of our community,” Christ said in the campuswide email. “Preventing and responding to SVSH on our campus will remain a top priority of this administration.”

Section three of the report centers around the report’s goals and gives a detailed account on the jobs of various offices and resources on campus. This includes the SVSH adviser that oversees the range of SVSH resources on campus and the PATH to Care Center that works with the campus community to respond to SVSH — which has nine full-time employees, as stated in the report.

Student activism was also highlighted as a key force in the publishing of the report, according to the report. Efforts by the ASUC, and independent complaints and investigations launched by the U.S. Department of Education and the California State Auditor — most notably within the context of the national #MeToo movement — were also acknowledged.

Section four of the report gives details on the 2018 MyVoice survey that was designed and implemented by the UC Berkeley MyVoice Working Group with NORC, an independent research group from the University of Chicago. The survey found that those that identify with marginalized communities experience the highest rates of harmful experiences while those with “more privileged identities” reported the lowest experiences.

“The Action (Planning) Team proposed that we need to ensure that providers of services — PATH to Care, social services and GenEq — work collaboratively with (the) campus,” Inkelas said. “It’s something that we have been doing to ensure that materials are not written with one group in mind and that an effort has been made to be inclusive.”

The last section of the report, titled Investigation and Analysis, includes several information graphics detailing the investigation timeline by the campus Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination, or OPHD, and the more general faculty adjudication process. This section also addresses the ‘three-year’ rule for faculty respondent cases and reiterates that under the rule the Chancellor must respond to a complaint “no later than three years after the Chancellor is deemed to have known about the alleged violation.”

“There is no statute of limitations for SVSH cases on campus. Anyone can make a report to OPHD at any time. Provided that evidence is still available and the respondent is still affiliated with UC Berkeley,” the report stated.

According to Inkelas, one of the goals of the report is to provide a clear account of resources on campus as well as show “commitment to transparency” in regard to the actions being taken on campus. Inkelas added that the report was framed in a way that allows community feedback to align with what is already being done on campus.

The report states that future SVSH reports will be used to track changes with the first report as a baseline, and each following report should outline planned steps and assess whether progress has been made.

“(The report) is really helpful to see the gaps in what fact is and what is perceived by the campus community,” Student Advocate Sophie Bandarkar said. “It shows that there is a lot work being done and that there is still to more to do.”

Contact Clara Rodas at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at Tags , , ,