Leadership Message on SAAM and Denim Day

April 8, 2021

To: USC Students

Cc: Academic Deans, Communication Officers, and Wellbeing Partners


Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health
Division Chief of College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Catherine Spear, Vice President, Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX; and Title IX Coordinator

Re: SAAM and Denim Day

This April, as we acknowledge Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we are sharing with you some information and resources to become better educated and aware of sexual assault and sexual and gender-based harassment, and the resources on campus that are available for survivors. SAAM offers a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss this difficult and important topic throughout the month of April, and will culminate with a day to show support for survivors on Denim Day, April 28.

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services, a unit of Counseling and Mental Health Services in USC Student Health, is a campus resource for students, providing advocate services (24/7) to survivors of sexual assault and gender-based harm; providing mental health services; and promoting prevention education programs for students and student-serving departments. Licensed clinical mental health care is provided through clinician faculty members of the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The department offers programs and services including prevention workshops in affirmative consent, bystander intervention, power-based and gender-based harm in relationships. 24/7 advocates are available for support and to arrange transportation and accompaniment to SART services, call 213-740-9355 (WELL); additional information is available by contacting studenthealth@usc.edu.

USC’s EEO-TIX Office (Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX) is responsible for responding to all reports of protected class discrimination and harassment (including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking, etc.) and related retaliation. Supportive measures, such as academic accommodations and connection to confidential counseling, are available through EEO-TIX whether an individual decides to file a formal complaint or not. EEO-TIX conducts outreach in response to all reports by offering information about important resources and resolution options and an invitation to meet with a member of the EEO-TIX team to learn more about available options and answer any questions. Making a report to EEO-TIX is not the same as making a formal complaint and, whenever possible, EEO-TIX will seek to honor the preferences of the reporting party. EEO-TIX also proactively partners and engages in ongoing prevention, education, and training efforts to promote and protect the civil rights of community members across the University. EEO-TIX can be reached at eeotix@usc.edu or 213-740-5086.

We encourage all students to learn about these resources, use our toolkit to spark conversations on preventing sexual and gender-based harm and how to be an upstander, and encourage others to learn more.

For the survivors, we acknowledge your courage and resilience, and hope the resources through our programs and services will help support you in moving toward healing. We know we can, and will, and must, do more, until relationship-based, sexually-based, gender-based, and power-based harm is eliminated from our community.