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SF State’s campus is dotted with emergency call buttons, marked by the blue lights atop of the poles.

Written by Jourdon Ahn
Photographed by Gavin McIntyre

This year President Obama composed a memorandum for immediate release, addressing the harrowing prevalence of rape and sexual assault in our Nation’s institutions of higher education. He reiterated studies that highlighted the staggering number of sexual victims (men and women) and stated, “more needs to be done to ensure safe, secure environments for students of higher education.”

The Obama Administration is not only targeting universities, but all institutions of higher education that participate in Federal student financial assistance programs, like colleges, community colleges, graduate and professional schools, for-profit schools, trade schools, and career and technical schools. They are pressing for an increased presence of sexual violence prevention organizations on school campuses. He wrote that the above schools must:

-provide students with information on programs aimed at preventing rape and sexual assault, and on procedures for students to reporting rape and sexual assault

-adopt and publish grievance procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of rape and sexual assault complaints

-investigate reports and take swift action to prevent their recurrence

-survivors must also be provided with information on how to access the support and services they need

“Reports show that, however, that institutions’ compliance with these Federal laws is uneven and, in too many cases, inadequate. Building on existing enforcement efforts, we must strengthen and address compliance issues and provide institutions with additional tools to respond to and address rape and sexual assault.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/22/memorandum-establishing-white-house-task-force-protect-students-sexual-” target=”_blank”>You can read the full memorandum online.

At SFSU there are multiple resources that can help with the issues you may be dealing with, whether it be in the form of counseling, therapy, or physically escorting—our university strives to assist its students to the best of its ability.  Specifically concerning sexual assault and violence, we spoke with Laurene Dominguez, the SAFE Place Coordinator. Watch for an exclusive interview packed with important information on how to keep yourself safe for the benefit of our campus community.