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The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

(Note: This message references sexual assault.) 

January 25, 2021

Dear students,

As the spring semester gets underway, we are writing to reaffirm our shared commitment to supporting Duke’s sexual misconduct prevention efforts and to remind you of where you can learn more about Duke’s policies, reporting resources, and community expectations. We also want to request your feedback during the Spring 2021 comment period, which begins today. 

Our commitment 

Sexual assault is an issue that transcends gender, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. There is no place for sexual harassment, misconduct or assault at Duke.

With the help of extraordinary student leaders, staff, and faculty across the University, we are committed to fostering a culture of respect and prevention while responding swiftly and consistently to any allegations of sexual misconduct.

As the semester begins, we are reaffirming the commitment of our respective units—the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the Office of Institutional Equity—to supporting Duke’s prevention and outreach efforts. You can access the university’s complaint policies and procedures via the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct

We invite your feedback 

Last semester, Duke’s discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policies were revised to clarify and improve processes and to integrate the 2020 Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Title IX federal regulations into Duke’s policies. Thank you to all of you who shared your feedback as part of that process. Now that we’ve had a semester to implement these processes, we again seek student feedback on our policies and procedures. Some aspects of our policies are tightly determined by federal regulation, but we want our framing and explanations to be as navigable as possible to students. Please tell us: where might policies be more clear? Where is educational outreach most needed?  

The Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct and the three corresponding procedures for students, faculty and staff will be posted from January 25, 2021, through February 12, 2021. Please review the policies and submit your feedback here. We will incorporate community feedback and input to the fullest extent possible. 

A dual portrait of Bailey Bogle (left) and Corey Pilson (right).

Introducing the Balthrop-Cassidy Fellows

In December, we welcomed two new partners to help lead our prevention efforts here at Duke—our new Balthrop-Cassidy Fellows, Bailey Bogle ‘20 and Corey Pilson ‘20. The Balthrop-Cassidy Fellows are recent graduates working to improve our campus climate related to healthy relationships, intimate partner violence, and sexual misconduct prevention. They will work in close partnership with the Dean of Students Office as well as many other campus partners. Bailey and Corey are on a listening tour right now to identify immediate steps we can take to promote healthy relationships and engage student leaders on these issues this spring. They are meeting with as many student groups as possible as part of this tour; please reach out via email if you’d like to be in touch with Bailey and Corey. Stay tuned for a more detailed introduction of Bailey and Corey and the new Baltrop-Cassidy Fellowship this spring.

Resources for students

While many of our students are back on campus or in Durham this spring, a portion of our student population is continuing their Duke education remotely this semester. Wherever you are this spring, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Office of Institutional Equity, and staff across campus are here to support you. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the resources available to you, both on campus and remotely (confidential resources are noted with an asterisk):
We remain committed to ensuring Duke is a place where every member of the community can learn, teach, study and work free from sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. True prevention is both a collaborative effort and shared responsibility, and we know that student feedback and involvement is an essential part of this prevention, response, and policy effort. 

Engage with us

We invite you to engage in understanding Duke’s policies, resources, and preventative measures and to provide your feedback. If you would like to get involved in the Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Committee, a group that advises our teams and coordinates prevention and response efforts across the undergraduate, graduate and professional communities, please contact Sophie Rose, sophie.rose@duke.edu, in the Office of the VP of Student Affairs for more information about our committee meetings and focus areas for this year.  

Thank you for your attention to this message and for your continued commitment to helping us eradicate sexual misconduct here at Duke. 

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Gary Bennett
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education 

Kim Hewitt 
Vice President for Institutional Equity and Chief Diversity Officer