Dear UCLA Community:
Recently, I was made aware of a social media post recounting an individual’s experience after reporting a sexual assault. It was painful to read, and many members of the public have reached out to the Title IX Office for an explanation. The Title IX Office sits within the larger Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which I run. I too wanted to hear more.
What I’ve learned is that the Title IX Office itself is not involved in any hearing affiliated with the social media post. Unfortunately, I can’t share more because we have a policy of confidentiality on Title IX matters. This policy helps survivors by encouraging the reporting of potential violations, safeguarding the integrity of investigations, and protecting the privacy of students and other participants.
I do need to clarify one potential misunderstanding suggested in the social media stream. Posts raise concern about how “[Title IX’s] new policies” disadvantages survivors. The “new policies” likely refer to the Department of Education’s recently issued regulations, which are supposed to go live on August 14, 2020. I agree that these new regulations are problematic, but to avoid confusion, please know they aren’t yet in effect.
The University of California and UCLA vigorously protested them while they were being drafted, and multiple lawsuits have already been filed to prevent them from being implemented. Right now, the Title IX Office still applies the current UC Sexual Violence Sexual Harassment Policy that governs each and every UC campus. We must, of course, obey the law if the courts uphold these regulations, but I don’t want this misunderstanding to dissuade individuals from reporting cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence.
There’s little more I can say, beside the general affirmations that people have little patience to hear. Still I feel compelled to vouch for the office. UCLA’s Title IX Office was established in its modern form in 2015. It is run by conscientious professionals who take their work extremely seriously, with integrity, care, and uncommon transparency, in impossibly challenging circumstances. The University also provides multiple resources including confidential support services, academic and financial accommodations, no-contact directives, safety planning, housing relocation, and counseling and sexual assault services to those who report sexual misconduct.
I realize that for skeptical readers, this will all sound like empty words. That reality saddens me.
I’m saddened by the experience recounted on Twitter. I’m also saddened that I can’t explain any further. All that I can do is allow our processes, fair although never perfect, to run their course.
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
June 6, 2020