Tulane joins national sexual violence prevention collective

Tulane University has joined the seventh cohort of NASPA’s (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Culture of Respect Collective. The two-year program guides colleges and universities that have committed to ending sexual violence through an evaluation and action planning framework that will further bolster response and prevention initiatives on campus.

Through the program, Tulane will undergo an in-depth assessment to examine the university’s current work pertaining to its sexual misconduct policies, survivor advocacy and support as well as its campus-wide engagement and education, statistics and ongoing evaluations. Based on the assessment results, a tailored action plan will be created to provide impactful strategic and policy improvements.

“We’ve made great strides in our sexual violence prevention, education and response through the years,” Marcus Foster, assistant provost for Title IX Compliance and Education, said. “While we’ve been diligent and thorough in the work that we’ve done, there are always opportunities for us to be reflective and look for areas that could be enhanced or modified to better serve our campus.”  

In 2018, the university implemented All In: Tulane’s commitment to stop all forms of sexual violence, which spurred the creation of the All In Working Group and the Coalition to Stop Sexual Violence. A Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Campus Leadership Team will be created at Tulane, as part of NASPA’s Culture of Respect Collective program.

“The collective gives us a chance to continue to build on the great foundation that All In created and to constantly grow as an institution and be innovative in tackling this ongoing and systemic issue confronting institutions across the country,” Foster said.

Foster and Margaret Martin, Clery Act coordinator at Tulane, will lead the Culture of Respect Collective’s progress. The collective will provide opportunities for partnerships between the Title IX Office, the Tulane University Police Department, Athletics, several departments and offices under the Division of Student Affairs as well as students.  

Tulane joins eight other colleges and universities in the Culture of Respect Collective cohort including St. Thomas Aquinas College, Lewis University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Muhlenberg College, Worcester State College, Norfolk State University, Indiana University–Bloomington and Southern Methodist University.

Martin said an added benefit of the collective is forging partnerships and sharing resources between institutions. “I think the term collective is right. We are collectively, as institutions of higher education, addressing sexual violence together.”

Cross-campus collaboration and transparency are key to the collective’s goals and success.

“We can highlight the work that’s already been done at Tulane and also invite other partners throughout the community to have their voices heard,” Martin said.

Foster added, “The collective requires institutions to be transparent and this aligns with the values of the Title IX Office and the Tulane University Police Department. This is an opportunity for stakeholders across the university to be forward-thinking, solution-driven and student-centered in addressing sexual violence prevention and response on our campus.”

The Culture of Respect Collective’s program will run through December 2024. Visit the Culture of Respect Collective website for more information.