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Physical and psychological safety across campus

Central Washington University's new vision calls on us to be a model learning community of equity and belonging. As we begin to live into this vision, every member of the Wildcat family must work together to evaluate our systems and structures that govern and influence policies, procedures, and practices at the university.

One aspect of elevating our work on equity and on creating a culture where students, faculty, and staff know they belong is to assure that we have both physical and psychological safety across campus. Specifically, CWU has the opportunity to investigate best practices in gender-based violence prevention, compare those practices to our own policies and procedures, and to review changes that have been made to recent federal legislation. These include:

  • the updated Violence Against Women Act;
  • the forthcoming regulatory rulemaking from the Biden Administration governing Title IX; and
  • the continuously evolving practices for compliance with the Clery Act.

Working group formed

In the fall of 2022, we formed a campus-wide working group that will convene over the next two quarters to learn more about best practices and to make recommendations about specific changes that could be made to elevate the equity-minded and trauma-informed prevention and handling of gender-based violence and to increase the sense of physical and psychological safety on campus. The composition of the workgroup will be as follows:

  • ASCWU — 4 student representatives
    • Solomon Kairu, Devon Nawdish, Yaritza Granados, Annika Brimhall
  • Faculty Senate — 4 faculty representatives
    • Sara Toto, Tim Lawless, Pam McMullin-Messier, Cynthia Coe (Co-Chair)
  • Exempt Employee Council — 3 exempt representatives
    • Marissa Howat (Co-Chair), Chris Denison, Amber Hoefer
  • Classified Employee Council — 3 classified representatives
    • Cody Mertell, Stephanie FitzGerald, Josie Rollins

Chief of Staff Andrew Morse and Arryn Welty, Secretary Senior in the CWU Wellness Center, will serve as the staff liaisons to the Work Group, providing support, resources, and research to the committee and organizing their meetings. Additionally, staff representatives from the PATH Resource Center, Title IX/Compliance Office, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Human Resources, University Police, and the Diversity & Equity Center may provide information and support to the work group in evaluating current policy and practice, and offering recommendations for improvement to ELT.

To learn more about what CWU is doing to address the issue of gender-based violence on campus and in our community, please see President Wohlpart’s letter from November 10, 2022.

Steps CWU has already taken

  • Recruiting for a new support position in the Title IX office and ensuring student participation on the search committee. This individual will be responsible for preventive education across campus;
  • Enhancing communications with students and student leaders on major process updates related to gender-based violence prevention efforts;
  • Evaluating our review and accountability processes to close loopholes and promote organizational change;
  • Ceasing the use of the Evidence Disclosure Agreement (which occurred in February 2022);
  • Sharing a hard copy booklet with individuals at their initial meeting with the Title IX office and walking them through the Title IX process;
  • Working with ASCWU and the faculty/staff shared governance groups to evaluate best practices with regard to Title IX policy, practice, and process;
  • Developing recommendations that will assure trauma-informed, equity-centered care, and better align CWU with current and future changes to federal legislation.

If you have questions about CWU’s Title IX policies and procedures, please see our Sexual Misconduct and Title IX webpage. Your engagement is appreciated as we take important steps to further elevate campus safety.

Related Resources

CWU's Prevention, Advocacy, Training, and Healing Program (PATH)