An update on efforts to prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment on the UC Berkeley campus

September 7, 2016

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Each member of the UC Berkeley community has a role to play in the ongoing effort to end sexual violence and sexual harassment on our campus. As the semester gets underway, we encourage you to spend some time on Berkeley’s survivor support website learning about what constitutes sexual violence and sexual harassment, our prevention and safety programs, how to respond, and how to get help in an emergency. We also hope that you will familiarize yourselves with new University of California systemwide policies on these critical issues, and especially what the new policies mean for the reporting of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.

Because our administration believes that broad education about these issues is essential for helping the campus address them, this fall Berkeley will be providing mandatory in-person and online sexual violence and harassment prevention education for all new undergraduate and graduate students. Incoming students who do not complete these educational requirements will have holds placed on their class registration.

Similarly, all UC Berkeley employees now have educational requirements of their own. Starting this year, new employees must go through a sexual harassment and sexual violence awareness and prevention training session within the first six weeks of hire, while all faculty and staff must participate in ongoing trainings. Furthermore, this year, all senior managers (including the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, and Chairs) must take part in in-person training sessions.

In addition to these trainings, throughout the fall semester our campus will host a variety of awareness events and prevention activities designed to ensure that all members of the community have the information and skills necessary to recognize, prevent, and respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment. These programs include seminars with prevention experts and mini-grant opportunities designed to encourage the changing of problematic social norms. Also this fall, the Chancellor’s Joint Senate-Administration Committee on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment will be conducting a listening campaign with a range of campus groups, and in October will publish a set of recommendations for further improving campus services, programs, policies, and practices related to sexual violence and harassment.

We are encouraged to see efforts begun in recent years gaining traction across campus, with more students, staff, and faculty becoming aware of this critical issue and how to combat it. There is more work to accomplish in addressing campus sexual violence and sexual harassment, and we are eager to hear feedback from the campus community on what is working well and what areas we can improve upon. Please feel welcome to offer your thoughts by Working together, we can build a campus culture that fully supports consent and respect and that holds those who violate our policies accountable.


Nicholas Dirks

Carol Christ
Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost

Carla Hesse
Chair of the Chancellor's Senate/Administration Committee on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment