New MOU promotes cooperation between universities, law enforcement on sexual violence response

Local colleges and universities, including Stanford, have signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office articulating principles of cooperation and communication between colleges and county law enforcement in sexual violence cases.

The memorandum was announced last week by District Attorney Jeff Rosen at a symposium focused on combating sexual violence on college campuses. A working group of local law enforcement and university representatives, including Stanford representatives, developed the memorandum over the last several months.

“Better communication and collaboration was required among all of us to better serve our students,” Rosen said.

Provost John Etchemendy and Police Chief Laura Wilson signed the memorandum on behalf of Stanford. The memorandum addresses topics including reporting obligations in sexual violence cases, confidentiality provisions for victims, resources for victims, and coordination between criminal investigations and campus Title IX investigations.

Rosen said the memorandum aims to improve communication, champion campus and community safety, uphold the rights of victims, provide a trauma-informed response and ensure accountability in the handling of sexual violence cases.

The announcement of the memorandum was part of the One Voice: Community United Against Sexual Assault symposium at Santa Clara University, which brought together a range of advocates, elected officials, law enforcement representatives and university representatives.