Fairfield U. recognized for preventing sexual assault

In a report issued U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Fairfield University is one of three colleges and universities in the state cited for best practices for its policies to prevent campus sexual assault.

At the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Blumenthal, joined by Fairfield University Dean of Students Karen Donoghue, other college administrators, faculty, students and advocates, released a College Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights Report.

The report is a culmination of a series of statewide campus dialogues with more than 450 Connecticut students, faculty, administrators, women’s groups and advocates.

In a section of the report called “Best Practices — College and University Policies to Prevent Campus Sexual Assault,”  Fairfield University is recognized “as one of three case studies of schools in Connecticut that have taken an aggressive approach to the issue and have developed programs that can and should be used as models for others seeking to address campus sexual assaults.”

Some of the citations for Fairfield University were:

• Having a certified Title IX investigation team which handles all sexual assault cases that occur on campus.

• Working closely with the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS) to provide annual training to board members and other community members on the experiences of victims and the handling of sexual assault cases.

• Enacting a policy that requires all employees to report any instance of sexual assault that they encounter (unless prohibited from doing so by legal confidentiality requirements).

• Increasing its efforts to make students believe that the university wants students to report instances of sexual assault and that the university will take action in response.

“Fairfield University is uniquely committed to supporting Sen. Blumenthal’s ‘College Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights Report’ given our mission which includes as a fundamental principle that our students should be women and men with and for others at all times,” said Thomas C. Pellegrino, Fairfield University vice president for student affairs. “This is a commitment to care, respect, honor, and support every member of the campus community.”

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