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President's Letter: "Keeping it Consensual" Symposium and Sexual Assault

To the University Community:

As President, my first priority is the safety and welfare of all members of our University community, as well as ensuring a respectful environment in which we can work and learn.

As you know, Pacific faces a highly publicized lawsuit related to a sexual assault that occurred last year. Since arriving this summer, I have spent considerable time learning about the circumstances and actions taken by University of the Pacific personnel associated with this situation. I feel confident in how it was handled. I want to assure all of you that Pacific enforces a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and all forms of violence. The Pacific community works hard to minimize risks to our students, help students avoid unsafe situations, and to provide swift and fair hearings and actions based on best practices when unsafe occurrences or incidents of sexual misconduct come to our attention.

It is unfortunate that some media coverage this summer misrepresented the University’s position regarding acquaintance rape. Pacific recognizes that acquaintance rape is rape and is a serious student safety issue on college campuses.

Over the next academic year, the University will augment its educational programs to raise awareness about the dangers posed by sexual assault. We want every one of our students to be aware what constitutes sexual assault, how to avoid situations that can lead to sexual assault, and what resources are available to them as they have questions, need help, or become a victim of sexual assault.

To that end, the University will host a special symposium on sexual assault that will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 12 noon to 9:30 p.m. A series of panels, speakers, and workshops collectively called “Keep it Consensual: Campus Conversations About Sex, Alcohol, and Choice,” is being co-sponsored by the San Joaquin County Women’s Center and features nationally known speaker Brett Sokolow, an expert on higher-education sexual assault and risk management. More information will be released soon on the full day of events.

I am proud of the outstanding staff and faculty who work hard to provide a safe and supportive campus learning environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Pamela A. Eibeck, PhD, PE