Overview and Membership
The Provost’s Sexual Violence Advisory Committee (SVAC) serves to provide community input and advice to the Provost on matters pertaining to education, training, and other preventive measures; reporting; policies and procedures; and community engagement. The SVAC shall not have responsibility for, or advise on, the investigation or adjudication of specific cases and incidents or day-to-day operations. The co-chairs of the SVAC are currently Linda Boyd, JD and Michele Decker, ScD, MPH.
The SVAC is composed of interested individuals who are appointed by the provost. It is broadly representative of the university community, with students, faculty, and staff from various schools. Initial appointments to the SVAC are for two years and members can be re-appointed. Students must be currently enrolled at the university to serve on the SVAC.
Operations assistance for the SVAC is also provided by representatives from student affairs, institutional equity, security, and general counsel, and other offices as necessary to provide information on current university policies, practices, and programs, and assist with the development of benchmarking information or SVAC recommendation implementation.
Advisory Committee Composition
Linda Boyd, JD, Assistant Vice Provost & Title IX Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity (Co-chair)
Michele Decker, ScD, MPH, Associate Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health (Co-chair)
Faisal Abualhassan, History Graduate Student, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Khorey Baker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, School of Advanced and International Studies
Jamelia Blake, Behavioral Health Specialist, Center for Health Education and Wellness
Jennifer Calhoun, Senior Advisor to the VP for Student Affairs, Homewood Student Affairs
Alyse Campbell, MSW, LGSW, Sexual Assault Prevention, Education, and Response Coordinator, Center for Health Education and Wellness
Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Anna D. Wolf Chair, Professor with Tenure, School of Nursing
Tyler Conzone, Behavioral Health Specialist, Center for Health Education and Wellness
Abbie Day, Associate Director for Student Affairs, Carey School of Business
Andrew Eneim, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Student, School of Medicine
Raina Gandhi, Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives, School of Education
Brandon Holley, Assistant Director of Athletics, Homewood Student Affairs
Jarron Jackson, Senior. Director of Campus Safety and Security
Rachel Karchin, PhD, Professor, Whiting School of Engineering
Shivani Kumaresan, Population, Family, and Reproductive Health Student, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Karnika Mehrotra, Academic Advising Learning Den Tutor, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Stacey Cooper Patterson, Director of Student Affairs, Peabody Institute
Kevin Schollenberger, Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being
Todd Shepard, PhD, Associate Professor, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Shanon Shumpert, JD, Vice Provost for the Office of Institutional Equity
Jacki Stone, PhD, Director of Student Well-Being, Center for Health Education and Wellness
Jennifer Kim-Lee Summers, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine
Karen Taylor, MSW, Senior Clinical Social Worker, Homewood Counseling Center
Robab Vaziri, Political Science Undergraduate Student, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Julie H. Yura, JD, Senior Equity Compliance Investigator, Office of Institutional Equity
The purpose of the SVAC is to provide input on ongoing university efforts related to sexual violence and recommend strategies to enhance the university’s policies, practices and programs. The SVAC can also serve as a forum for community engagement and constituency feedback. Members of the group are charged with sharing information that will assist the university with its ongoing efforts to:
- enrich and expand the university’s sexual violence education and prevention efforts;
- educate the university community about recognizing and reporting incidents of sexual violence;
- enhance support and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence;
- ensure a fair and balanced process for responding to incidents, concerns and complaints; and
- strengthen the culture of inclusion and safety at Johns Hopkins, including the impact of violence, gender roles, alcohol and other drugs, and social norms.
The SVAC serves to provide community input and advice to the Provost on matters pertaining to education, training, and other preventive measures; reporting; policies and procedures; and community engagement. In doing so, the SVAC draws on the “three pillars” framework for comprehensive prevention and response; the three mutually reinforcing pillars are: (a) prevention; (b) survivor support; and (c) accountability.
- Education and Training. A key to prevention is education. Importantly, prevention is promoted through education and training programs that focus on proactively ending sexual violence. Central educational concepts include: promoting healthy relationships, the meaning of consent, bystander intervention, and recognizing and reporting sexual violence.
- Safety and Security Measures. Other preventive measures include assessing the safety of the physical environment: the security of facilities; facilitating regular training for students, staff, and faculty; and assuring wide-spread distribution and publication of security information for all the university’s locations.
- Reporting. Fostering a climate that encourages the reporting of incidents by individuals who have been victims of sexual violence is crucial. Non-reporting and underreporting of incidents understates the problem and undermines prevention efforts. Reporting should be facilitated by providing for direct reporting, access to confidential resources, and anonymous reporting. The options, internal and external, for reporting an incident of sexual violence should be clear, explicit and widely disseminated.
- Policies and Procedures. Policies and procedures must be clear, understandable, fair, balanced , accurate, widely disseminated, and readily accessible to all members of the university community (e.g., policies and procedures should be publicized through a multimedia approach that includes press releases, brochures, posters, and Web-based messages as well as other methods that may be identified).
- Communication and Engagement: Regular communication to and engagement with the university community are crucial to the university’s efforts in addressing this issue.
SVAC Coordinated Action Plan Efforts
In response to the 2018 JHU Climate Survey, the Provost’s Sexual Violence Committee (SVAC) prepared an action plan for prevention and response.
The detailed action plan reflects a comprehensive and ongoing process undertaken by the SVAC that included: reviewing available data sources specific to JHU, including the 2018 and 2019 Climate Surveys; benchmarking peer institutions; collaborating with peer institutions through the university’s participation in the NAS Action Collaborative; and reviewing the evidence base on sexual violence and misconduct prevention and response. The SVAC also engaged in iterative prioritization of resulting recommendations and implementation plans based on feasibility, available evidence, and likely value as reflected by the students, staff, faculty and leadership that the SVAC represents. Recommendations are designed to:
- Ensure sexual violence and misconduct support services and prevention programming across JHU divisions and training levels, in response to the prevalence and needs identified through the 2018 Climate Survey and as underscored in the 2019 Climate Survey;
- Build upon the best available frameworks and evidence in sexual violence/misconduct prevention and response including toolkits released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College Health Association (ACHA), and National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), as well as best and promising practices identified through participation in the NAS Action Collaborative and the Association of American Universities (AAU) Advisory Board on Sexual Harassment;
- Align with and expand current efforts at JHU specific to sexual violence/misconduct;
- Engage with relevant aligned efforts at JHU for support, health promotion, diversity and equity; and
- Position JHU as a leader in generating a climate that discourages and prevents sexual violence and harassment, and ensures a swift, supportive, and equitable response for those affected.
We are pleased to report that work and implementation in connection with the following SVAC recommendations are in progress:
- Preparation of a healthy consent mobilization campaign.
- Implementation of new student sexual misconduct online training modules with enhanced bystander intervention content.
- Exploration of options to most effectively expand in-person bystander intervention training offerings to upper-class undergraduate students and graduate students throughout the University; and
- Exploration of the most impactful ways to coordinate, expand and promote existing sexual violence/misconduct support resources and educational outreach, as well as assessment of additional resources needed for each division of the University.
Campus Climate Survey Information and Past Reports
JHU’s Work on the National Academies’ Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education
In 2018, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (“NASEM” released its report on Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
In April 2019, the Action Collaborative formed and JHU committed to participate.
- Raise awareness of sexual harassment, its consequences, and the approaches for addressing and preventing it.
- Share and elevate evidence-based policies and strategies for reducing and preventing sexual harassment.
- Contribute to setting a research agenda, and gather and apply research results across institutions.
- Develop a standard for measuring progress toward reducing and preventing sexual harassment in higher education.
- For more information on the Action Collaborative, JHU’s Commitment Letter, Action Collaborative Members, and JHU’s Community Engagement Plan.
On September 30, 2020, the Action Collaborative shared newly public “resources,” as well as important updates about the progress made during Year 1. The Action Collaborative website includes additional resources.