Dear Bentley Community,
I’m writing to you this morning still reflecting on the thoughtful and powerful call to action that our Student Government Association shared over the weekend regarding sexual violence, with recommendations for accountability across our community. I am grateful to our student leaders who have raised their voices to demand change. My administration and I share in the anger and frustration voiced in the letter, as examples of sexual assault and misconduct continue to occur in our community. We are committed to working in partnership with the SGA, and all members of this community, to continue improving the culture and environment at Bentley.
Let me say it clearly: at Bentley there is no place for sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or misconduct. I will not tolerate this behavior and will hold to account those who are found to perpetrate these actions. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our community. The university takes allegations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously and we are dedicated to supporting and protecting the survivors who report these incidents.
I am absolutely heartbroken for the young woman involved in the case reported last week. I am proud of the fact that this individual is seeking justice through the criminal courts. Due to the ongoing investigation and case, I am prohibited from commenting further on this particular incident at this time. However, I want you to know that every reported incident is immediately investigated to the fullest extent of federal and state law, as well as Bentley’s own internal procedures, including this case.
As Chief Diversity Officer Katie Lampley shared on October 21, the university continues to work toward reducing the impact of gender-based harassment and violence at Bentley, including on the recommendations submitted by the Sexism at Bentley organizers, and I am encouraged by the meaningful progress we have made over the past few months. Student voices are incredibly important, and we have heard clearly that some students don’t feel heard or cared for—we do hear our students and we care deeply for them—but it is on us to do better in proving that. And we will.
On Tuesday, members of the administration will be meeting with the SGA to engage in a conversation about their questions and recommendations included in this weekend’s email, which I believe are understandable and reasonable. I am also scheduled to visit with the SGA next week, and I look forward to continuing this conversation at that meeting. We welcome their leadership on behalf of all students and applaud them for their thoughtful and courageous action in communicating the responsibility that we all have to prevent sexual assault on our campus.
As was shared in the SGA email, there are a number of campus resources available to our community, including our Title IX support resources. I encourage you all to read the SGA’s thorough and impressive list and familiarize yourself with these resources.
We must continue to work towards fostering a more caring, respectful and safe campus environment for all. I look forward to progress and action by all members of this community in the days and weeks ahead, and we will continue to share updates with everyone on that effort.
Dear Bentley Community,