Sexual Assault Response

The University of Mississippi

Dear Ole Miss Students:

Recently, the University has released several alerts, as mandated by the Jeanne Clery Act, to inform community members of crimes that occurred on our campus; all of the alerts concerned sexual battery cases. Acts of sexual violence are a concern on every college campus; we assure you that the University of Mississippi takes this issue seriously and has zero tolerance for sexual violence. Students who report sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking on our campus have a robust set of resources available to support them in their healing.

As members of the Ole Miss Family, we all play a part in making our campus a safe and supportive environment. We ask each of you to be vigilant in looking out for your friends and fellow students.

Stand Up, Don’t Stand By. As students, you have the power to make a difference and prevent sexual violence from happening. The best way to prevent violence is to be an active bystander. When you see a situation that causes you concern for someone else’s safety, do one of the following:

  • Direct. Start a conversation. Ask if everyone is okay. Send a text message to a friend to check in. Look out for your friends; if one leaves, call to find out where he or she is and if help is needed.
  • Distract. Invite the person to go get food with you. Ask a friend to get a safe ride home with you. Use anything at your disposal to move the attention to something else and ensure your friend’s safety.
  • Delegate. Call the University Police Department for assistance (and do not forget our amnesty policy; you will not receive a strike for getting help). Ask the Community Assistant on duty for help. Get a group of people to help. Find the right person. Asking someone else is still doing something.

Remain aware. If you choose to drink or if you are out late at night, go and stay with a group of friends. Take steps to make sure someone knows where you are and make a plan to get home safely. Utilize campus resources such as LiveSafe and Rebel Patrol, or use a designated driver or call a cab. If you are out on the Square, do not forget Oxford Police Department’s new Safe Site on East Jackson Avenue, Wednesday through Saturday from 8:00 pm until 45 minutes after bars close.

Know your resources. Download the free LiveSafe app from the Apple or Android App Store. With LiveSafe, students can text the University Police Department, watch friends walk across campus, or send authorities tips about incidents or concerns witnessed on campus.

Visit UMSAFE.olemiss.edu to learn more about the departments on campus assisting survivors and those impacted by sexual violence; read about our comprehensive policies prohibiting sexual violence and all the options and rights students have when they choose to report. The most important resources to know are:

Violence Prevention Office. This office provides advocacy for students affected by sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. Located within the University Counseling Center, call 662-915-1059 or e-mail bartlett@olemiss.edu for an appointment.

Title IX Office. This office is responsible for investigating reports that happen on campus and off campus but only with the impacted student’s permission. The office can also provide accommodations. Located in Martindale 270D, call 662-915-7045 or e-mail hbussery@olemiss.edu for an appointment.

University Counseling Center. The Center provides free individual, group, and walk-in appointments for students. Located on the 3rd floor of Lester Hall, call 662-915-3784 for an appointment or walk-in between 10 am and 4:15 pm Monday-Friday.

University Police Department. UPD is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Located in Kinard Hall, call 662-915-4911 for emergency assistance, or 662-915-7234 for non-emergency assistance, including Rebel Patrol who can walk with students around campus.

Get involved. Rebels Against Sexual Assault (RASA) is a student-led campus organization dedicated to raising awareness of sexual violence, preventing its occurrence, and creating a culture of safety at Ole Miss. To get more information or to request a peer education training, contact them at umrasa@go.olemiss.edu.

Our campus is one where sexual violence is not tolerated, nor is it hidden from public awareness. Together we can look out for one another and prevent this violence from happening in our community.  Please join us in making Ole Miss a safe space for everyone.

Sincerely,

Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affair

Leslie Banahan, M.Ed.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Tim Potts
Chief of University Police Department

Bud Edwards
Director of University Counseling Center