State Recognizes UToledo Achievements in Changing Campus Culture

September 14, 2021 | News, UToday, Alumni, Student Affairs
By Christine Billau

The state of Ohio recognized The University of Toledo for successfully implementing all five recommendations from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) through the statewide Changing Campus Culture initiative created in 2015 to help Ohio colleges and universities break the cycle of sexual violence.

“I applaud the hard work and dedication of your staff to be creative and flexible in their efforts to prevent and better respond to sexual violence in your campus community,” ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner wrote in a letter to UToledo President Gregory Postel. “The work to implement effective strategies takes time, planning and dedication from key staff and faculty members.”

Gardner highlighted a list of achievements, including the establishment of comprehensive policies and protocols that go beyond Title IX regulations.

The Title IX Office provides programming, training and awareness events throughout the year. This semester 1,249 people have attended one of 26 trainings or programs.

Title IX trainings are conducted weekly at new employee orientation and annually for new student orientation. Bystander intervention training also occurs weekly during the fall and spring semesters and can be conducted by request as well.

The UToledo Title IX Office also hosts several exhibits each year to help raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault including “What Were You Wearing?” The one-week installation featuring survivor stories and a re-creation of the clothing items worn by the survivors at the time of their sexual assault.

“Empty Place at the Table” features several tables in UToledo dining facilities on Main Campus and Health Science Campus that are set with a tablecloth, place settings and cards that tell the sobering stories of those who lost their lives to domestic violence.

“I am exceptionally proud of the Title IX team here at The University of Toledo along with the whole campus community regarding their dedication to the prevention efforts,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo director of Title IX and Compliance and Title IX coordinator. “Prevention Education Coordinator Lindsay Tuttle works diligently with our on- and off-campus partners to bring awareness and prevention programs that engage our faculty, staff and students throughout the year.”

The state also congratulated UToledo for establishing an advocacy center; enhancing the delivery of prevention and response training for students, faculty, staff and campus law enforcement into a virtual format; developing and implementing a comprehensive prevention plan; creating a culture of shared respect and responsibility through a multi-faceted awareness campaign; establishing a formal relationship with a community-based advocacy organization and local law enforcement; implementing additional survivor-centered strategies including providing access to confidential resources and employees who are trained in trauma-informed response; and convening a coordinated community response team on campus.

“Despite the numerous challenges from the past academic year, this work continued,” Gardner said. “With a return to a more normal academic year, ODHE will be working to help all campuses refocus their efforts to address sexual violence.”

“We are proud of our students, faculty and staff who have played a critical role in helping us strengthen our strategies to create a safe educational environment for everyone,” said Valerie Simmons-Walston, interim vice president for student affairs at UToledo.

Learn more about Ohio’s Changing Campus Culture initiative on the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s website.

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