The Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment. Ricky Galindo/The Paisano

The newly established Title IX Services Office has a new name: the Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment. Jessica Muniz, director and prevention coordinator, believes the name change better reflects the goals and services of the office. 

The Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment is a resource on campus dedicated to providing information, resources, training and advocacy for members of the UTSA community who may have been impacted by sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment and/or gender-based discrimination.

 In an email message sent in late May regarding campus consensual relationships, President Taylor Eighmy discussed how the UTSA community still has work to do to instill a zero-tolerance mindset around issues of sexual harassment and misconduct. 

“UTSA has a clear policy regarding consensual relationships between supervisors and supervisees,” stated by Eighmy in the email. “This includes relationships between students and faculty members who have direct or indirect supervision over the student. The policy is fundamental to avoiding any real or perceived conflicts of interest, power differentials and potential emotional distress for all those involved. It also reinforces our zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct of any kind.”

In response to incidents at Michigan State University and in support of the Cultivating Learning And Safe Environments (CLASE) effort, Chancellor McRaven encouraged all UTSA System presidents to do an institutional review of sexual misconduct process procedures. 

In preparation for this external review, President Eighmy is bringing in an outside consultant to look at all aspects of UTSA’s Title IX programs and has coordinated Maria Perez to fulfill the role of the interim director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Services and Title IX Coordinator. After the review, a national search will be conducted to hire a new director.

Additionally, President Eighmy asked Muniz to design a strong training program for faculty that is directed towards sexual misconduct prevention.

The Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment is located in the North Paseo Building (5.130). For more information on resources offered or towards filing a complaint, please contact the office at 210-458-4077 or email at studentadvocacy@utsa.edu.

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