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Title IX Update

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to an environment of inclusion and trust that enables all of our people to succeed in big ways—and we reaffirm and reinforce that essential commitment in every way and at every opportunity we can.

In that spirit, I remind you of new Virginia state laws that take effect today and are related to combating campus sexual violence at our Commonwealth’s public universities, including VCU.

  • Va. Code § 23-9.2:15 requires that academic transcripts indicate with “a prominent notation” if a student has been suspended or dismissed because of an offense involving sexual violence, or voluntarily withdraws from the university during an investigation of such an alleged offense.  The notation shall be removed if thestudent has been found not to have committed an offense of sexual violence under VCU policy or completes the suspension, returns to the university and is in good standing.
  • Va. Code § 23-9.2:15 also requires responsible employees to report any information about an act of sexual violence to the Title IX coordinator “as soon as practicable” after addressing the victim’s immediate needs.
  • And finally, Va. Code § 23-234 requires notification to the Commonwealth’s attorney of a law enforcement investigation of a felony sexual assault occurring on campus, in a non-campus building or property, or on public property, within 48 hours of beginning an investigation.

 

I know I can count on every VCU student and employee to act honestly and ethically at all times and in full compliance with all laws and university policies.  More information about Title IX at VCU and resources can be found here.  If you have any questions about these or other issues related to Title IX, please contact our Director of Equity and Access Services and Title IX Coordinator, Laura Rugless, at 804-828-6404 or lrugless@vcu.edu

While these new laws are important, they do not represent the extent of our efforts to address and prevent campus sexual violence and ensure compliance with Title IX, nor the limits of our commitment to helping all of our people succeed.  This summer, VCU will adopt a new and comprehensive policy addressing our Title IX obligations and the broader issues of campus sexual violence and harassment. In the coming semester, we will announce a series of initiatives and programs that —along with the leadership of many of my colleagues—will help ensure that VCU does much more than simply follow the law but becomes a national example for success, equity and trust.  

Together, we will continue to enhance our culture of trust and work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence on our campuses.

Sincerely,

Michael Rao

President