To the Campus Community:

As we begin a new academic year, it’s important that we all pause to recognize some notable work on serious issues that impact our entire community: sexual assault and sexual misconduct. On Sept. 17, University of California President Janet Napolitano’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault issued a number of important recommendations (PDF) that will help all of us do an even better job of preventing sexual assault and supporting survivors.

The recommendations include enhancing and expanding training for all students, faculty and staff by next year; improving education campaigns; and implementing system-wide standards for investigations of alleged incidents. In addition, the White House launched the “It’s On Us” campaign to end sexual assault on campuses, and Gov. Jerry Brown just signed legislation requiring California colleges to include an affirmative consent standard for sexual assault. I endorse all of these initiatives and am committed to supporting and implementing each of them, as well as exploring additional or enhanced measures we can take to keep all of our students, staff and faculty safe.

UCLA is well-represented on President Napolitano’s task force, and we appreciate all those from our campus who are supporting its work.

I also would like to express my gratitude to the many individuals on campus who provide sexual assault–prevention training to our community, as well as to those responsible for the compassionate care and support of survivors of sexual assault.

It is critical that everyone feel safe and respected on our campus. At UCLA, we do not tolerate sexual assault or sexual harassment in any form. These are not only violations of the law, but violations of the dignity and safety of the individuals affected and, in fact, our entire community. Please remember that resources are available. CARE at CAPS, which can be reached at 310-825-0768, is a safe place offering support, treatment and information about your rights 24 hours a day.

Please help us take a stand against sexual assault. We’re all in this together.

Gene D. Block