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Originally published: 2013-06-10 11:38:23
Last modified: 2013-06-10 11:39:07

ASU safety survey data under study

by Anna Oakes

The leaders of Appalachian State University's Interpersonal Violence Task Force say they are continuing to analyze data from a campus safety survey administered earlier this year and are not yet ready to release findings and recommendations to the public.

The task force and survey were among actions required by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights following a complaint to OCR by a female student last year about ASU's handling of an alleged sexual assault case in 2011 and 2012.

More than 4,000 members of the campus community participated in the survey, which was available from Jan. 31 to Feb. 20, according to the survey website, and the task force received the results March 25.

OCR's resolution agreement required ASU to evaluate its current and potential policies and programs for preventing sex-based harassment and submit a report to the federal department by April 2013.
"The objectives the university developed in agreement with the Office for Civil Rights were met and reported in mid-April per our agreement, and a final report (was) presented to and approved by the chancellor," said J.J. Brown, dean of students and co-chairman of the task force.

In response to Watauga Democrat's request for the report submitted in April, Brown said, "The report to OCR was not intended to be a public document and was merely an update provided to comply with the ongoing monitoring and resolution of the original complaint."

Brown said the task force plans to complete its final report and recommendations and send them to the chancellor in late June or early July.

"We would like to have conversations with the chancellor, the (chancellor's) cabinet and the board of trustees regarding our next steps and how we move forward on this important issue together before sharing the information with the broader campus community and the media," he said.

Brown said the work of the task force goes beyond the requirements of the OCR resolution agreement.

"The good work the task force does related to sexual assault, sexual harassment and Title IX is complicated and continuous," he said. "The task force's work continues past the obligations of the OCR agreement to focus on education and awareness, resources and processes, such as reporting, conduct and compliance."

A U.S. Department of Education spokesman said June 4 that the resolution agreement with ASU is still an open case.

"OCR will continue to monitor the university's implementation of the agreement to ensure its full implementation," he said.

The Watauga Democrat on June 3 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the report submitted from ASU to OCR in April. Department officials have indicated the request is being processed.

ASU released the raw campus safety survey results to the campus community on May 23.