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

(Note: This message references sexual assault.)

September 9, 2020 
Dear students,
This summer, we shared that Duke was updating our discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct policies to align with the newly revised federal Title IX regulations. “Title IX” references the Education Amendments of 1972, and it states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The updated regulations were issued by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on May 6, with a federally mandated implementation date of August 14.  

In order to develop the implementation plan for Duke as required by federal law, a working group met regularly both before and after the federal regulations were released. Among the major changes, Title IX regulations now extend to govern how Universities respond to complaints involving faculty and staff respondents. The scope of jurisdiction and specific types of misconduct regulated by Title IX have also changed. 

Duke has developed a specific adjudication process designed to meet federal guidelines for Title IX-specific cases involving student complainants and respondents. We also have established a broader adjudication process that ensures Duke continues to respond to other allegations of sexual misconduct that don’t specifically meet Title IX criteria but which remain serious violations of the Duke Community Standard. Find more information about sexual misconduct processes from the Office of Student Conduct. We’re working to ensure that all information for impacted students is available in a centralized location.

We want to assure all students that we take the issue of sexual assault—which transcends gender, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status—very seriously. There is no place for sexual harassment and misconduct at Duke.

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

While many students are in Durham this fall, a significant portion of our student population is continuing their Duke education remotely this semester. Wherever you are this fall, the Division of Student Affairs, 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:
  • The Women’s Center, an inclusive space which serves all genders, provides therapeutic services to survivors of gender violence, which includes sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, cyber sexual harassment and sexual harassment.
  • The Office of Gender Violence Prevention & Intervention in the Women's Center has confidential services available to students of all genders 24/7. If you are a student in need of services, please email WCHelp@duke.edu, fill out a confidential request for assistance, or page 919-970-2108. A clinician will respond promptly.
  • Blue Devils Care offers 24/7 mental telehealth support to all students at no cost. To get started, visit BlueDevilsCare.duke.edu. Register once using your @duke.edu email address and Service Key DUKE2020, then you’ll be ready to use the service whenever you need it.
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) remains open and counselors are continuing to provide care remotely through telemental-health appointments.
  • To discuss your options for reporting sexual misconduct at Duke, please contact: 
    Jayne Grandes, Title IX Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, jayne.grandes@duke.edu, 919-660-5766, or
    Victoria Krebs, Associate Dean of Students, Title IX Outreach & Response, victoria.krebs@duke.edu, 919-684-7336
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. 

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 graduate, professional and undergraduate 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 2020-2021. The first committee meeting will be Monday, September 28.
  • The Title IX implementation working group sought feedback in Summer 2020 from the Student Committee, from faculty leadership, deans and others. We also plan to review the efficacy of Duke’s revised policies in January 2021 as the Spring 2021 semester begins. While our policies must adhere to federal guidance, we will incorporate community feedback and input to the fullest extent possible. To submit a comment, please contact Victoria Krebs at victoria.krebs@duke.edu.

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 and Vice President for Student Affairs
Kimberly Hewitt 
Vice President for Institutional Equity and Chief Diversity Officer
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