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An advisory council formed to review Brigham Young University's response to reports of sexual assault is nearing completion of its final recommendations.
Julie Valentine, a nursing professor at BYU and member of the advisory council, said Monday that the four members of the council are in the process of drafting and finalizing their report, which will be delivered to the BYU president's council prior to the end of the semester.
"I would say weeks definitely," she said.
BYU created its advisory council in May, after several BYU students reported that they were investigated or disciplined for violating the school's Honor Code which prohibits premarital sex, alcohol use and other behaviors after reporting sexual assaults to campus representatives or local police agencies.
And one student's complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights triggered an investigation into BYU's application of Title IX, a federal law banning sex-based discrimination on college and university campuses.
Over the summer, BYU's council looked at the Title IX procedures of more than 75 U.S. universities, met with community representatives and reviewed roughly 3,100 comments submitted online by students, faculty, sexual assault survivors and trauma experts, the school announced Monday.
During an annual address to school faculty and staff last week, BYU President Kevin Worthen also said he expects to receive the council's report this fall.
"It causes us deep sorrow to know that members of our community would be victimized in such a devastating way," Worthen said. "We are anxious to help them."
"We anticipate that this fall, the advisory council will present their recommendations to the president's council," Worthen said during his remarks last week. "We will then address the topic with the campus community more in-depth. In the meantime, let me emphasize that the top priority in this extensive effort is the safety and well-being of our students, especially those who have been the victims of sexual assault."
A challenge in determining best practices for handling sexual assault complaints is that Title IX has been specifically applied to sexual assault only in recent years, Valentine said, and federal guidelines continue to be updated and clarified.
She said the council's report will reflect the members' current analysis of the issue of campus sexual assault, but that additional review will be needed in the future.
"This will be an ongoing process," she said. "After our recommendations, there will need to be continued evaluation."
Valentine said she met one-on-one, in-person or through video conferencing, with BYU students who were victims of sexual assault.
She also said the pool of online comments reached nearly 3,200 entries, from suggestions for campus policy updates to reports of personal experiences.