April 25, 2019

April 25, 2019


UT Dallas President Issues Statement on Sexual Assault Study

Dear members of our UT Dallas community,

I have reviewed the UT Dallas results (PDF) of the Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments study, which was conducted as part of a comprehensive University of Texas System survey of 13 of its 14 campuses. I have sought insight and guidance from many in University leadership positions, especially those individuals most directly involved with student life. Be assured, we are taking sexual assault seriously at UT Dallas. This is a significant matter that must be addressed on our campus, on other college campuses across America, and in society as a whole. One act of sexual aggression is too many.

The safety of our University community is our greatest priority. We must continue to work diligently to ensure we do everything possible to eliminate acts of sexual hostility from our campus. Campus and community resources are in place to help students, faculty and staff who may have had personal experiences with these acts of violence or wish to report an incident. I am grateful for the efforts of those who provide these services.

Any student wishing to discuss an incident in strict confidence may do so with a counselor in the Student Counseling Center or Galerstein Women’s Center; a health care provider in the Student Health Center; a clergyperson of the student’s choice; or an off-campus resource such as rape crisis center, doctor or psychologist. The incident will not be reported to the Title IX coordinator.

Existing prevention and awareness programs at UT Dallas include:

  • Haven, an online sexual assault prevention education module required of all new students at UT Dallas. 
  • Rape Aggression Defense Course, a 12-hour self-defense course offered for free to students, faculty and staff. 
  • Comet Voice, a collaboration of various on-campus partners designed to promote bystander intervention.  

The campus also takes part in:

In addition, other campus programs include:

However, we must continue to do more to prevent sexual assault and to provide best-in-class programs and responses to help those in need. As a result of the survey, we will implement additional programs, including:

  • Comet Voice Care Team: A support program targeting students who have submitted Title IX reports.
  • Hosting One Love Foundation programs, such as a peer-led education workshop aimed at raising awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activating communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence.

Again, we cannot tolerate any violence or sexual aggression on our campus. I am absolutely dedicated to doing everything possible to eradicate these acts from our community. We will continue to discuss this issue further in the days ahead as we work together to maintain a safe learning and working community.


Richard C. Benson signature

Dr. Richard C. Benson
Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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