USC's Title IX Task Force will work with the Cozen O'Connor law firm to externally review the current systems around interpersonal violence on campus, according to an email statement from university President Bob Caslen Tuesday.
Cozen O'Connor's Institutional Response Group "delivers holistic responses to institutions confronting sexual and gender-based harassment and violence," according to its website. It will work with the Title IX Task Force to improve campus practices involving sexual and gender-based harassment and violence by providing legal advice and critiquing current practices.
The group is holding a survey as part of its review, which is available to students, faculty, staff and alumni. The survey addresses how survey takers feel about practices the university already has in place, such as programming and resources relating to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence.
Caslen said it will share confidential information to USC about the overall "themes and information gleaned from the survey."
The survey will be open through fall 2021. Caslen said the university expects to continue working with Cozen O'Connor through the year.
According to the Institutional Response Group's website, "attorneys have decades of experience conducting high-profile investigations into sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, child abuse, and other forms of misconduct, and assisting institutions in implementing trauma-informed, fair and impartial prevention and resolution processes."
Caslen said he encourages survivors and those who are aware of harassment or abuse on campus to report it and take advantage of opportunities to receive support by professionals on campus.
"Please know that this is only the beginning of our efforts to listen, improve and ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our university community," Caslen said. "I promise that we will continue to keep you informed as our efforts evolve."