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University of Missouri, Columbia: Case Study in Resources

“Sexual assault happens at Mizzou,” wrote Ellen Eardley, then Title IX Administrator and Assistant Vice Provost, in a September 2015 letter to University of Missouri students, faculty, and staff announcing the results of AAU’s Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. “It’s on us to stop it.”

Investing an estimated $1.2 million initially, with additional funds provided at the system level, University of Missouri, Columbia increased its Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center staff from one full-time employee to four staff members, adding a managing coordinator, advocacy coordinator, prevention coordinator, and education coordinator. While the professional staff provides crisis intervention and advocacy services, the center also engages student staff and student organizations in presenting educational programs and events, such as Green Dot Mizzou, a program that encourages students to see their individual actions as part of a larger movement toward a safer campus.

The university also created the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, with eight new full-time employees, including Eardley, who is now Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX. Assisting the full-time staff are three deputy Title IX coordinators—senior staff in student life, athletics, and human resources, who can help students with making a report of sex or gender discrimination. The office addresses sexual misconduct and assault and all forms of discrimination: race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, ethnicity/ancestry, genetic information, sexual orientation, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, and protected veteran status.

Funding was also provided for additional law enforcement staff and to purchase an online alcohol education program for students.