Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:52 AM
Subject: Title IX Update
Dear campus community,
As the spring semester begins, I’m writing to update you on our ongoing work in the area of Title IX, the law governing sex discrimination in higher education.
In early 2017, we invited the Victim Rights Law Center to campus to review our Title IX policies, practices, and structure. The resulting report contained many helpful recommendations—several of which we implemented immediately. We’ve continued to make progress in other areas during this academic year. A comprehensive list of tasks completed can be found here.
While Wesleyan already conducts training for all faculty and staff on sexual harassment and discrimination, the Office for Equity & Inclusion, Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and Graduate Student Services are partnering to expand our training opportunities. Additional training and education will be offered in an ongoing way, shepherded by the Title IX Education Committee.
As part of the VRLC recommendations and in consultation with students, we’ve also made a change to the investigation and adjudication process for student cases of sexual misconduct. The in-person hearing panel has been replaced by a deliberation panel. The complete process is found in the student handbook.
This semester, we hired Johanna DeBari as director of the new Office of Survivor Advocacy and Community Education, which has been created within Health Services. She will develop programming around issues of sexual and gender-based misconduct, and will provide direct support to students who are impacted.
Finally, we have taken steps to clarify some of our policies and procedures, and have implemented a Relationship Policy, which provides clear guidance for all members of the university community on what types of relationships are prohibited due to inherently problematic power differentials.
I want to thank all those who are working hard to make gender equity and the eradication of sexual harassment and violence a priority. This work is ongoing, and our policies and processes will continue to improve with input. I invite anyone wishing to learn more about support and resources available for survivors of sexual misconduct to visit our website.
Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX & Sec 504 Officer