BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii reviewing own sexual assault policies

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FILE - This April 19, 2016, file photo, shows a welcome sign to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Brigham Young University found out Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, that federal authorities will investigate the campus process for handling reports of sexual assault. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
This April 19, 2016 photo shows a welcome sign to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii are currently reviewing a report from the BYU’s Advisory Council Study of Sexual Assault released on Oct. 26, 2016. The report resulted in BYU changing some of its sexual assault policies. (Associated Press)

BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii are reviewing their own sexual assault policies in wake of the recent sexual assault policy changes at BYU. Other Utah universities are addressing sexual assault using their own techniques.

Though BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii have not announced any similar changes in efforts to to deal with sexual assault issues, both have said they are working on strengthening these efforts.

“Upon our initial reading, BYU-Idaho is supportive of the principles and general recommendations in the report,” BYU-Idaho spokesperson Brett Crandall said. “BYU-Idaho had previously assigned an internal team to look at how we can strengthen our efforts regarding issues related to sexual assault and campus safety. This team will now also study the recommendations coming from the BYU Advisory Council report.”

BYU-Hawaii also expressed positive sentiments about the report.

“Many principles and recommendations appear to be congruent with practices and policies that we have or are developing,” BYU-Hawaii spokesperson Michael Johanson said. “We are grateful for the thoughtful work being done at our sister institution.”

Other surrounding universities are less focused on BYU’s new policies and more focused on their own efforts to help victims of sexual assault.

The University of Utah had no comment on BYU’s report or the recommended guidelines, but said they had conducted their own sexual assault climate survey earlier this year. The survey found more than half of survey respondents didn’t know where to file a complaint or find support resources. The university is using these findings to shape their efforts in helping students who are sexual assault victims.

Utah Valley University also declined to give direct commentary on BYU’s updated policies.

“Our focus is on what we are doing as an institution, so it wouldn’t be our place to offer commentary from the sidelines other than to say that every institution is unique and, as such, comparisons tend to be apples and oranges at a certain level,” UVU spokesperson Chris Taylor said.

Taylor also said UVU is continually educating its students and employees about the importance of talking about sexual assault and standing up against it. Ongoing training about this subject is an important part of their approach.

“One of the goals of UVU’s collective effort is to get people to step forward and report so they can receive the help, support and resources they need,” Taylor said. “Philosophically, we much prefer a culture of over-reporting versus one of under-reporting. The safety of our students and campus community is our top priority.”

Utah State University and Southern Utah University were unavailable for comment.

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