The following message was sent on April 14, 2016, from Vice Chancellor for Student Life Vincent Carilli to all UT Knoxville students.
Last year the university began releasing an annual update on reports of student-on-student sexual misconduct and our efforts to assist students who report incidents of sexual violence and misconduct.
We want all of our students to know that the university will support them if they choose to report an incident. The university’s process for investigating reports is designed to be thorough, timely, and fair to both parties. We want to reiterate that the university extends care and support to all students regardless of whether they choose to pursue campus discipline against the respondent.
We are releasing two updates that cover calendar year 2015.
The first update reflects the number of sexual assaults that were reported to the university by students, where the incidents occurred, and how the university resolved those cases. The second update details the level of care and types of services that the university extended to students who reported an incident.
While these updates summarize the number of reports, cases, and services, it’s important to note that every single number reflects the unique experience of one of our own students.
We are making progress on raising awareness across campus about these important issues. We are strengthening our prevention efforts and methods for extending care and services to every student who reports and needs our help.
We have added an educational component to First Year Studies 100 and reinforced our messages throughout new student orientation. We have increased staff within the Center for Health Education and Wellness; added training for students, faculty, and staff; and engaged more students in delivering our programs. We have also launched promotional campaigns and events to explore issues of consent and raise awareness of the options for reporting a sexual assault.
In addition to these efforts, the University of Tennessee is one of only twenty-seven schools in the nation to receive a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The grant will broaden our training, programming, and advocacy work.
We are committed to moving forward with this work and we encourage you to get involved. I want to thank you for your commitment to preventing sexual misconduct and your willingness to support one another.
As I “Hiked the Hill” to begin Sexual Assault Awareness month, I was reminded of the power of collective effort. Together, as a community, we can make a difference.
Vice Chancellor for Student Life