New Gender-Based Violence Prevention workgroup to review policies, practices and programs


Photo courtesy of CWU Flickr

Megan Rogers, Senior Reporter

CWU announced on Nov. 10 its plans for a new gender-based violence prevention workgroup. The workgroup will be meeting on a regular basis shortly after Nov. 30.

The workgroup will be made up of a total of 12 representatives, four student representatives from the ASCWU, four faculty representatives from the Faculty Senate,who is the governance at CWU, two exempt representatives from the Exempt Employee Council, who provides support of exempt employees, and two classified representatives from the Classified Employee Council who is the information conduit for CWU. 

“The group will be responsible for carefully studying current policies and practices and programs that govern our campus approach to gender-based violence prevention and to identify where we’re demonstrating effectiveness,” Andrew Morse, chief of staff and interim vice president for public affairs, said.  “As well as to develop a set of actionable improvements that we can make related to gender-based violence prevention and handling.”

Morse said one of the outcomes of this group will be to create a set of recommendations for the university and the shared governance leaders that can help to deliver both trauma-informed care and equity-minded care.

“Another important related outcome is that we must continue to assure that our policies and practices comply with the constantly evolving legal regulatory landscape, affecting Title IX and non-discrimination practices on campus,” Morse said. 

The Violence Against Women Act has been reinstated by congress on Mar. 15. Due to the act’s reinstatement, Morse said that he is expecting that the Biden Administration will release rules for universities on how to respond to gender-based violence in Title IX and the Clery Act.

“We recognize this is actually a really good time for the university to be taking a fresh look with these policies changing and evolving as well as what our current practices are,” Morse said. 

Morse said he also thinks taking steps towards CWU’s vision of being a model learning community that creates equality and belonging is an important outcome of this workgroup. 

“What that means is that as we pursue this vision, working together to become a safer and more equitable living, learning and working community is critical to our success,” Morse said. “We want to make sure that we are open, transparent and that we fully engage the needs, concerns and opportunities that our campus community has shared with us.”

Mark Samples, faculty senate chair and associate professor in music, said he is appreciative that this workgroup can improve the safety of students and employees. 

“This [is] an opportunity to learn about best practices regarding equity minded in trauma informed care at the university,” Samples said.

Samples said having work groups like the gender-based violence prevention one is important because it brings representation from all across campus. 

“We want to be a learning institution. We want to get better. It’s what we do as educators and as an educational institution,” Samples said. “If we really want them to become a community of equity and belonging … having these conversations is a critical way for us to move closer to that goal.”