May 26, 2024

Virginia Council of Presidents Statement on Sexual Violence

The following message about sexual violence has been issued today by the Virginia Council of Presidents: 


Recent news stories in the Commonwealth and around the country regarding the issue of sexual violence and its impact on students at colleges and universities have continued to shine a spotlight on this critical issue in higher education and our nation.  As the presidents of Virginia’s public colleges and universities, we want to assure the public and members of our college and university communities that we are committed to addressing this issue collectively, and on each of our respective campuses. In addition, we commit to involving students, faculty and staff in identifying concrete ways in which to confront the problem of sexual violence on our campuses.  Sexual violence has no place in higher education, and we are determined to focus increased attention on awareness, prevention, enforcement, and support services for survivors. Our goal is to advance learning and working environments that support individuals who report sexual violence and hold accountable those who are responsible for sexual misconduct of any kind.   While this issue is international in scope and reaches far beyond higher education, we believe that as educators we can and must play a leadership role in addressing the problem by working with all of our constituencies.  The Commonwealth has already taken an active, coordinated leadership role through Governor McAuliffe’s establishment of the Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, and we pledge to continue to work with the task force to review and strengthen policies, procedures and training in a manner that is consistent with the latest legal guidance and with evolving best practices nationally.  We are dedicating increased resources and efforts to provide needed leadership in this arena.  Student safety is a priority for all of us, and together we can learn from and with each other as we address this complex challenge.  Sexual violence has no place in our communities, and as stewards of the public trust we will seek to make real and lasting progress by using all of the resources at our disposal to address it.



  1. Clare Ardizzone, '69 says

    Please contact me regarding support for student victims of sexual violence; based on my own experience, I would like to contribute to this effort.