A Letter from the Dean of Students

Dear Students,

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for a great start to our semester. Student involvement is up, conduct issues are down and generally speaking there is a good vibe around campus. I wanted to take a moment to provide campus with an update on improvements with our Title IX /Sexual Misconduct policies and education.

One of the embedded values at the Mount emphasized by President Trainor has been the notion of “respect and dignity for all.” Perhaps one of the most significant places where this has been lived out in your (the student body’s) mentality and actions has been in the area of relationships. That is to say, understanding and appreciating each other in relation to the school’s sexual misconduct policy, often referred to as the Title IX policy. This topic has garnered a great deal of media attention as well as governmental guidance over the past few years. As Dean of Students, I want you to know that I appreciate how so many of you have helped to make this campus a much healthier and safer place for everyone.

The school has invested more resources in education and prevention in recent years than ever before (online training for first-year students, in-services for employees, specialized speakers during orientations, workshops for student leaders and academic classes, and even a Mount specific app with resources).

The past two springs, the University administered a Title IX climate survey to all students.  Last year’s results along with orientation evaluations gave witness to significant improvements.

10% increase in students having an understanding of the definition of sexual assault

16 % increase in students having an understanding of where to get help

19% increase is students having an understanding of how to report an assault

23% increase in students having an understanding of Title IX protections

86% of first-year students described the orientation speaker on sexual assault education as an “effective session which communicated the complexities involved in sexual misconduct along with how to deal with situations proactively”

96% of first-year students believe that sexual assault education and prevention is an important topic

Thank you to everyone (students, faculty and administrators) for your commitment to treating one another with respect and dignity when it comes to relationships! There will always be work to be done on this front and if you want to play a greater part for the Mount, I would encourage you to download the Reach Out App and get in touch with our EmpowerMOUNT peer educators. For more information about the Mount’s policies please visit msmary.edu/titleix.

Ken McVearry

Dean of Students

Mount St. Mary’s University

(301) 447-5848

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