Summer Training Institutes Focus on Campus Safety, Prevention and Education

August 11 2016
Category: Campus Life


Elmira College recently hosted more than 180 attendees representing high schools, colleges, and other government and service organizations from as far as Indiana, Florida and New Hampshire.  These leaders gathered in Elmira for the Policy Institute and Respect Red Training Institutes to participate in two days of intensive training focused on mandates, response protocols and prevention education updates related to campus safety and sexual misconduct.

“Hosting the summer institutes helps to demonstrate how Elmira College is continuing to create a safer, more inclusive campus, while actively sharing best practices, standards and trainings with fellow colleges, universities and the community,” said Brandon Dawson, Dean of Student Life at Elmira College.

Presentations from national and leading experts, including Katie Koestner, Executive Director of Campus Outreach Services and Founder of Take Back The Night, addressed topics such as: federal and state laws, confidentiality, men’s role in prevention, bystander intervention, faculty sexual misconduct, athletic programs, international students, male victims, same sex sexual assault, responding to the accused, and more. 

“Through these trainings, the institutes provide the ability for school and community leaders to come together to learn both the subject matter as well as how other types of institutions are tackling similar issues.  These problems affect every community, no matter where they are located or the size and demographics of their constituents.  There is no community that is immune from the problem of sexual violence,” said Koestner.  “A wide support and awareness base is what helps enable a safer campus environment.”

Also presenting was Gary Kelly, Technical Lieutenant for the New York State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Unit (CSAVU), along with members of his staff.  Lt. Kelly leads the newly formed unit created by the landmark “Enough is Enough” legislation, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law in July of 2015. 

On August 8, 2016, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of a campaign to raise awareness about campus sexual assault as students head to college for the fall semester. The campaign builds on outreach efforts underway by the CSAVU, and in partnership with colleges throughout New York, to provide sexual assault awareness outreach at summer and fall orientation sessions.  Elmira College is one of eight current colleges partnering with the CSAVU.

“Our mission is to reduce the incidence of sexual assault through a prevention education program, which includes orientation for college students, faculty and support staff, and training for stakeholders,” said Lt. Kelly.

According to Kelly, in New York State there are more than 300 universities and colleges. The unit’s eleven State Police Senior Investigators have been placed in regions across the state to support these institutions in their work to address sexual violence.

“Our regional investigators are partnering with colleges, including Elmira College, to serve as a resource for students, college and university staff, campus and local police, and victim advocates,” said Lt. Kelly.

The CSAVU will be back on campus and partnering with Elmira College to provide sexual assault awareness outreach during summer and fall orientation sessions.  For more information about sexual violence or how to help someone you know who has been affected by these crimes, please visit