Campus leaders’ statement on sexual assault reports

October 26, 2016

To our UW–Madison Community,

We were shocked and saddened to learn that several UW–Madison students have reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow student.

Sexual violence is unacceptable in our campus and community. We’re committed to transparency and communication, especially in a case as serious as this one.

We want to start by sharing exactly what we know at this time:

  • The student has been arrested on multiple charges. Upon notice of his arrest, we acted immediately to place the student under emergency suspension. He is prohibited from being on campus.
  • The Division of Student Life and other campus units are assisting the Madison Police Department and UWPD in this investigation. University leaders are monitoring the case and receiving regular updates.
  • We take every report of a sexual assault seriously and are committed to building a campus free from sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. We encourage survivors to come forward to police, who have specially trained officers who can help. But it’s up to each survivor to decide whether to report, and to whom. If you’re not ready to report to police, students can also report a sexual assault to UW–Madison by contacting the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students Office.
  • We provide resources to survivors regardless of whether they choose to report the incident. The Division of Student Life and University Health Services (UHS) can help direct students to options and services, including mental health counseling, medical care, victim advocacy and off-campus legal assistance. For more information on confidential resources and reporting options, visit www.uhs.wisc.edu/assault.
  • In addition to responding to reports, we continue to work with campus and community partners to prevent sexual assaults and hold those responsible accountable. Sexual assault, dating violence and stalking are public health concerns that affect both individual survivors and our campus as a whole.

These are serious allegations and we recognize the impact this news is having on our community. Please also know that we and many others here care deeply about you and continue to strive to create an environment where all of our students are safe.

Lori M. Berquam
Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Life

Brian Bridges
Interim Chief, UW Police Department

Sarah Van Orman
Executive Director, University Health Services