SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (12/06/2017) With thousands speaking out against sexual harassment and assault, Missouri State University's president, Clif Smart, is also chiming in. He released a statement yesterday making it clear that he takes this topic very seriously.
In light of recent sexual harassment allegations against very public figures, President Clif Smart wrote a blog post earlier this week, letting his faculty, staff and students know that sexual harassment is something he will not tolerate on the MSU campus.
"The timing just seemed appropriate to say 'this is not going to happen here, and if it does happen here, there will be major consequences,'" said President Clif Smart of MSU.
As many of the accusations are against those with high status, Smart finds it imperative that his university and employees know exactly where he stands on the matter.
"I think it's also helpful for people to know that their boss says this is not ever going to happen here, because then you know there are consequences if you step over that line," said Smart.
For those who do step over that line, Smart is not holding back. He says that termination is the likely next step for any of his employees who try to test the boundaries. For students involved in any sexual harassment reports that turn out true, the consequences are just as severe.
"We want those things to be reported. We have a process to go through to investigate to see what the facts show, and if the facts show that something improper has occurred there's always discipline."
With zero tolerance for sexual harassment smart wants the MSU campus to be a safe place and is encouraging those who have been victimized or are too afraid to come forward to find their voice.
"The time is now. There's been great examples of people all across the country saying 'hey we have to stop this and this needs to be known.' So if there are people that work at our university that have been victimized by this, I would encourage them to step forward."
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment and want to bring it to light, you can find out how to report it by clicking here.
If you are a student or employee of MSU and want to report sexual harassment, contact MSU Title IX Coordinator: Jill Patterson, CARR 314, 417-836-8506.