Department Statement on RVSM and Title IX

Please Note: This statement refers to events that may trigger traumatic memories for members of our community. Resources and assistance are available through the Center for Survivors1, MSU Safe Place2, Counseling and Psychiatric Servicesand the Employee Assistance Program4

The Department of Anthropology is committed to fostering an inclusive, safe, and welcoming  environment where all faculty, staff and students are valued, respected, and celebrated. Foremost in our priorities is the physical and emotional safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We also validate and stand by survivors of sexual harassment and misconduct, sexual  abuse, and relationship violence; recognizing that all too often their voices are not heard and  their stories not believed1. We know that it is our responsibility to not only listen to survivors, but also to serve as active bystanders, willing to intervene when we observe actions that threaten our community’s safety and violate our deeply held beliefs.  

As such, we acknowledge the seriousness of RVSM and Title IX violations in the university and  are committed to taking action with regard to the violations that arise in our department, including our classes, offices, labs, and field schools. We do this while following all department,  college, and campus policies and procedures, including the Anti-Discrimination Policy (ADP)5, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM)6, Mandatory Reporting7, and Pregnant and Parenting Student policy8

Training and education on campus policies has been and continues to be taken seriously in the Department of Anthropology. All faculty and staff are current in their required RSVM training as  mandated by MSU; however, we recognize that it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone  in our department knows how to put this training into practice. We have proactively taken  continuing educational measures for faculty through participation in a Prevention, Outreach, and Education (POE)workshop on Monday, January 25, 2021. At this time, we ask that all  faculty, staff, and students review RVSM and Title IX policy terms and examples10 and reporting  requirements11. We also remind all faculty and staff members that any sexual misconduct  divulged to them in the context of their position must be reported to the Office of Institutional  Equity (OIE)12 as per university policy.  

Furthermore, we encourage anyone who has experienced discrimination, harassment, or  retaliation to contact the OIE. Any individual who experiences conduct that violates the criminal law is encouraged to contact MSU Police13 and local law enforcement. Michigan State  University also provides Confidential Resources14 free of charge where those who experienced relationship violence or sexual misconduct may explore their options, talk about what happened, and obtain support services. The Department of Anthropology has and will continue  to prioritize a healthy and safe environment for students, staff, and faculty, while striving for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Misconduct of any sort is unacceptable as is the silencing of any victim. It is our duty to unite and raise awareness to enhance the safety and proper conduct of  our university. 

We see our commitment to providing a safe environment as part of our larger departmental efforts to increase and sustain diversity, equity, and inclusion. The diversity that each and every  one of us brings to the department and to the university is immense, and a source of our  strength. We recognize that making spaces safe and welcoming is utmost in fostering an inclusive culture.  

Todd Fenton, Chair and Professor 

Mindy Morgan, Graduate Program Director 


1Center for Survivors

2MSU Safe Place

3Counseling and Psychiatric Services

4Employee Assistance Program

5Anti-Discrimination Policy (ADP)

6Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy

7Mandatory Reporting 

8Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972: Pregnant and Parenting Student Information

9Prevention, Outreach and Education Department


11Reminder regarding faculty reporting:  

12Office of Institutional Equity

13MSU Police

14Confidential Resources

Additional Resources: 

Heath-Stout, Laura E. (2020) Who Writes about Archaeology? An Intersectional Study of  Authorship in Archaeological Journals, American Antiquity, Volume 85, Issue 3, July 2020, pp.  407 – 426. 

Voss, Barbara L. (2021a) Documenting Cultures of Harassment in Archaeology: A Review and  Analysis of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Studies, American Antiquity, Volume 86, Issue  2, April 2021, pp. 244 – 260. 

Voss, Barbara L. (2021b) Disrupting Cultures of Harassment in Archaeology: Social Environmental and Trauma-Informed Approaches to Disciplinary Transformation, American  Antiquity, Volume 86, Issue 3, July 2021, pp. 447 – 464.