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University of Illinois Revamps Sexual Misconduct Measures

The University of Illinois is taking new measures to prevent incidents of sexual misconduct on its campus, the school announced in a statement.

Last week, the System Board of Trustees gave approval to recommendations given by the task force that worked for more than a year to develop a framework to prevent cases of sexual abuse and harassment and foster a culture that ensures safety, learning, and success.

The new policies prohibit relationships between faculty, staff members, students, and research assistants. Those applying as faculty, staff of the system’s universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield would be subjected to a thorough background check and allow their current and former employers to release any past findings of sexual misconduct.

The school will also prohibit separation agreements with confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions that would limit the release of misconduct findings.

“Our Board of Trustees has made it a clear priority to address and prevent sexual misconduct and harassment at our universities,” Board Chairman Don Edwards said.

“A completely safe environment for our students to learn and to prosper is essential to our academic mission, and we will work continuously toward that goal,”

Going forward, all the employees of the university will be required to undergo mandatory annual employee training related to sexual misconduct, with an emphasis on prevention and culture as well as compliance with the law.

Students will be also trained and educated about consent in relationships, avoiding unhealthy relationships, intervening to prevent misconduct and the heightened risks posed by alcohol and drugs.

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