To the Members of the Georgetown University Community
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
As you know, sexual assault on college and university campuses has been at the forefront of our national conversation in recent months. At Georgetown our work for many years on this issue has been guided by our commitment to cura personalis, care of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Educating and engaging our community on this issue is an essential part of our responsibility to uphold the moral expectations that have guided us throughout our history as a Jesuit institution.
Georgetown has engaged deeply in these issues for many years - from being one of the nation’s first institutions to hire a full-time sexual assault coordinator in 1997 to the establishment of our Sexual Assault Working Group more than a decade ago. We have always approached this work with great seriousness and in a campus-wide, comprehensive manner. We also recognize that our work on this important issue - which concerns the safety, wellbeing and protection of not only our students but every member of our community - is ongoing and never done.
In recent months, we have worked hard to provide new resources to educate and support students and our community. We have enhanced our student-led programming, with the student-produced play focused on handling difficult situations and “I Am Ready” peer discussions at New Student Orientation. We have added additional staff in Health Education Services to support our students, and earlier this year launched a centralized online resource for our community at sexualassault.georgetown.edu. I am proud that these improvements are the result of thoughtful and collaborative work across our campuses.
At the heart of Georgetown's mission is a commitment to serious and sustained discourse, even when topics are difficult to discuss. The first step of living out this mission in this particular context is examining our own responsibilities – how we can each contribute – to making this campus safe for everyone. We must each ask ourselves, “What can I do to make Georgetown an even safer campus where students can come to do their very best work?”
It is our expectation that each of us, as members of our community, will educate ourselves about the resources available to us and our responsibility to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind. You will receive an additional message on this topic with specific information on resources and reporting. Please read it carefully, discuss it with your peers and ask any questions that you may have.
Thank you for your commitment to making our campus community a safe and supportive place for all students to learn, grow, and thrive.
John J. DeGioia