Indiana University Bloomington has joined a national program that works with cohorts of higher education institutions to end sexual violence on campuses by improving their organizational policies, practices and procedures.
IU is one of six public and three private institutions participating in the seventh cohort of the Culture of Respect Collective.
“Indiana University is committed to ending sexual violence on campus,” said Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, vice president for student success “This research-based program is powerful, and IU Bloomington will benefit greatly from working with the Culture of Respect Collective. The chance to deeply assess our work with sexual violence prevention, learn from others and leverage proven practices shown to make an impact is important and will make a difference for our students.”
Payne-Kirchmeier had prior experience with the collective’s cohort program at other institutions and believed it would be beneficial for IU to apply.
The Culture of Respect Collective was created in 2013 by parents of college students who were upset with a high rate of sexual assaults on college campuses and wanted more resources for survivors, students, administrators and parents, according to the organization’s website. Its mission is to build the capacity of participating institutions for self-assessment and organizational changes.
The collective, now part of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, has current partnerships with 140 higher education institutions, including three from the Big Ten Conference. It uses two-year cohorts to help the institutions create goals and objectives that they can implement on their campuses. Some areas of focus during the process, according to the collective’s website, include:
- Strengthening cross-campus collaboration.
- Analyzing current sexual violence prevention, advocacy and response practices.
- Establishing a multidisciplinary campus leadership team.
- Using a self-assessment tool that analyzes six areas, including survivor support services and public disclosure.
- Developing and launching an individualized implementation plan.
- Assessing progress.
According to the Culture of Respect Collective’s 2020 report, institutions that follow the program’s model experience significant, positive changes with prevention and response.
IU has formed a campus leadership team to work on the program, which will be led by Kelly Hogan, associate vice provost for student affairs, health and wellness; Jennifer Kincaid, associate vice president of institutional equity and Title IX; and Sally Thomas, director of the Office for Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy.
“After learning more about past cohort members’ experiences, I am even more excited for us to participate in this program,” Thomas said. “We will receive specific and tangible objectives that will help enhance our prevention and response efforts on campus. These tangible objectives will ultimately help us better support our students.”