Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Holy Cross sign MOU regarding sexual harassment

by Dennis Brown

memorandum of understanding

The presidents of the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) March 7 committing to a “collaborative approach in our attempt to eliminate sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and any other form of sexual harassment … in recognition of our shared Holy Cross heritage.”

“Working together, our three campuses have made significant progress in our collective efforts to eliminate sexual assault, developing what we believe are best practices,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “I am grateful for the collaborative spirit which has animated these efforts and honored to join with my colleagues in codifying our shared commitment to providing all of our students with an educational environment that is safe and honors the dignity of each person.”

Brother John Paige, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross College, Jan Cervelli, president of Saint Mary's College and Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of The University of Notre DameBrother John Paige, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross College, Jan Cervelli, president of Saint Mary’s College and Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of The University of Notre Dame

The MOU “seeks to foster communication and the sharing of information across our campus communities regarding awareness and prevention education, resources, reporting options and procedures,” and includes eight provisions:

  • The provision of a resource coordinator to each student who is a party to a complaint, regardless of their home institution, in order to treat all students with care and respect. Resource coordinators will be trained faculty or administrators who can help identify, explain and navigate reporting options and available support services, including referrals to counseling, educational support, pastoral care, medical treatment and law enforcement, and information about available interim measures and administrative and legal processes.
  • Offering a complainant who attends a different participating institution the option to consent to have their name and the general nature of their complaint shared with their home institution as a means to facilitate resources and support. Each institution will provide an authorization form on its website, and complainants will always retain the ability to share any additional information with their home institution at any time.
  • Any time one institution issues a timely warning for any reason, it will share it with designated officials at the other institutions.
  • The notification to each institution regarding upcoming awareness, educational and prevention events that are open to all three campuses.
  • Collaboration on one or more awareness, educational or prevention events per academic year.
  • The sharing of updates, at least once per semester, with each institution regarding initiatives and strategies on each campus to encourage student reporting and to prevent all forms of sexual harassment.
  • The inclusion of website links to each institution’s information regarding sexual harassment including definitions, procedures, policies, resource information, reporting options related to concerns regarding students, faculty and/or staff and the MOU.
  • An annual exchange of information among the institutions’ Title IX coordinators or designees about policies and procedures on all three campuses related to any kind of sexual harassment, including any changes.

The MOU takes effect March 7 and will be renewed at the start of each academic year.