An annual report by Mizzou’s new Title IX office says hundreds of sex discrimination cases on campus have been investigated and seven students have been suspended. The study started 18 months ago as part of ramped-up efforts to fight sexual assault.
The suspensions involve sex discrimination cases from August 2014 through July 2015 with more cases still pending or resolved in other ways. The report establishes baseline information that can be used in future years to identify trends and improve initiatives to stop sex discrimination and prevent its occurrence.
According to the report, which focuses on students, 328 individuals reported 332 incidents during which they experienced sex, gender or sexual orientation discrimination (four individuals reported more than one incident of discrimination). These 332 incidents resulted in the identification of 374 allegations of sex discrimination.
“Our goal is to progress toward a truly safe and inclusive environment where all students, faculty and staff feel welcome, valued and secure. We have an opportunity and an obligation to use the information the Title IX Office collects to improve campus culture and reduce sex discrimination at MU,” said Ellen Eardley, Title IX administrator and assistant vice provost.
“While we understand that sex discrimination – including sex-based violence – occurs at MU, we are encouraged that the Mizzou community regularly engages with the Title IX Office to report these incidents and to help us educate the community about ways to stop these behaviors,” said Eardley. “We may see the number of reports rise as our education activities increase and people are more aware of the Title IX Office and its purpose.”
Eardley said the office investigates everything from rape, to texting a picture of a person on your cell phone to someone else without permission.
“We need to work hard, all of us on campus, to stand up and say that any kind of sex-based discrimination is unacceptable,” said Eardley.
“Most reports of sex discrimination came from employees of MU who were expressing sincere concerns about students,” MU Provost Garnett Stokes said. “The faculty and staff on this campus genuinely support our students, and we’re making great strides to improve our climate and make it a safe place where all students can focus on their college experiences.
To see the full report, click here.
Brad Tregnago, KSSZ, contributed to this report