I'm writing to notify you that effective immediately, the Statute of Limitations (SOL) for reporting of allegations of sexual misconduct (under the following policy: http://web.duke.edu/policies/students/universitywide/sexualmisconduct.php) is no longer applicable. This pertains only to students, including undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The amended policy text is provided below.
Over the past year, we have been working with the Office of Civil Rights to make sure that Duke's policies and practices related to Title IX, and in particular, gender violence, conforms to new Federal rulings and requirements. The Statute of Limitations reduction from two years to one year was made among numerous other adjustments. Duke Student Government and many individual students have raised concern with that change and we have listened carefully. The bottom line is that we agree...and we have sought and received permission to change that policy. Rather than return to a two year SOL, we have accepted the DSG recommendation to remove the limitation altogether and have now done so. I want to thank the DSG leadership for their thoughtful and compelling advocacy.
The discussions about the SOL have brought to light our need to continue our aggressive approach to minimizing sexual harassment and assault at Duke. Our introduction of Mandatory Reporting, Bystander Intervention (watch for the upcoming "Do Something" campaign), enhanced staff training and much more are beginning to make a difference. The Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention (http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/wc/gender-violence) in conjunction with the Duke Women's Center, a unit of Student Affairs, offers support for anyone who has been touched by an act of gender violence. But, we have much more to do and we will continue to work with all members of the Duke community to reduce gender violence.
I welcome any ideas and thank all of you for caring and helping.
Vice President for Student Affairs
New language for Harassment Policy http://duke.edu/web/equity/resources/documents/harassment_policy_and_procedures.pdf):
A complaint against a student may be filed at any time and is actionable under the university's disciplinary process up to the point the accused student graduates. For all other respondents, a complaint must be filed no more than one year after the most recent conduct alleged to constitute harassment.
New language for Sexual Misconduct Policy (http://web.duke.edu/policies/students/universitywide/sexualmisconduct.php):
Reports may be filed at any time; prompt reporting can aid an investigation. The disciplinary process is available as an option until an accused student graduates.