The Virginia Center for School & Campus Safety supports institutions of higher education through training, with resources and technical assistance, and by guiding best practices. Virginia houses an array of higher education institutions, including public and private 4-year universities, 2 year colleges, community colleges, and others. Each institution faces unique challenges and hot button issues, including campus sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, threat assessment, and others. The VCSCS also works within directives from the Virginia General Assembly to conduct study’s, such as the Final Report on Potential Minimum Core Operational Functions for Campus Police and Security Departments and the forthcoming Campus Threat Assessment Study to inform the General Assembly and guide best practices in higher education.
Trending Topics in Higher Education
Threat Assessment- Several updates to the higher education threat assessment legislation went into effect October 1, 2016. To assist in understanding the updates, DCJS developed a summary of the changes to the code. Additionally, DCJS recently published a Report on Threat Assessment Teams in Virginia Institutions of Higher Education that highlights the practices of threat assessment teams in institutions of higher education.
Title IX- As an educational amendment, Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities- “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” New rulings have changed the interpretation on Title IX in recent months. Specifically, responding to recent requests made from schools and campuses across the country regarding transgendered students and civil rights, the US Department of Education, in conjunction with the US Department of Justice, released a Dear Colleague Letter. The letter summarizes the issues of Title IX and transgendered student protections. For additional information on Title IX visit USDOE's website.
Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Response- As sexual assault on campuses continues to garner national media attention and the need for training and prevention becomes more evident, the VCSCS is working to bring comprehensive training to institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth. Through an open bid, the VCSCS is working to build a curriculum for campus police and security to institute a Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Response. This curriculum will include an overview of sexual assault, Stranger vs. Non-Stranger sexual assaults, Rape culture and trends, and the Effects of trauma on the victim. The training will also focus on the much-needed areas of Interviewing victims and suspects, Working with male victims and LGBTQ victims, Evidence documentation and report writing, Utilizing Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs), and Encouraging and strengthening prosecutions. To stay informed on the release of these trainings manage your subscriptions to include All School & Campus Safety categories.
Higher Education Staff Contacts
Donna Michaelis, Manager
Marc Dawkins, Campus Safety & Violence Prevention Coordinator