This story was updated on May 5, 2016 at 10 a.m.
The University of Missouri Office for Civil Rights and Title IX published its first joint annual report Thursday identifying and addressing instances of discrimination and sexual violence on campus.
MU combined the Civil Rights and Title IX office in December 2015 following student protests over lack of response to racist incidents. The union of these offices streamlines reports and investigations of discrimination complaints at the university.
From Fall 2015 to Spring 2016 the office received 674 alleged incidences of discrimination.
Salama Gallimore is the Director of Investigations and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. She said the office is focused on creating trust, and providing support and education.
“We have the opportunity to do one on one education with folks and talk about why situations may have occurred, the impact that those situations may have had on other people," Gallimore said.
The office also published the MU Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Task Force 2017 report that identifies areas of improvement.
The Task Force was established in the Fall of 2015 by Provost Stokes to address concerns identified in the 2015 Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.
As a result, the Task Force is focusing on three tactics to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence on the MU campus: education, prevention and response.
Ellen Eardley is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX. She said programs like Green Dot teach students to engage in prevention or interruption of power-based personal violence.
“It encourages and empowers students to be active bystanders, so when they see something they say something or do something,” Eardley said.
Sex and gender discrimination was tracked by the Office of Title IX for the 2014-2015 academic year and the data was compared to the 2015-2016 data from the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX annual report.
The analysis showed that the number of reported incidences of sex and gender discrimination increased from the previous year. However, Gilmore said that increase doesn’t necessarily mean a rise in incidences, instead it may indicate a greater level of trust in the system, as many incidences of sexual discrimination are never reported.
“I think a misconception of our office is that we are this strictly compliance office that does these investigations that people get in trouble,” Gallimore said. “But a lot of what we do is really providing support to people who have experienced discrimination and people that are going through our process, even those who have been accused of discriminating.”