Q. How can we make people better aware of the sexual misconduct process.
A. This is a frequently asked question. There are a multitude of efforts by students and administrators alike to inform the College community of the process as well as of bystander strategies and safety measures. There are frequent awareness and prevention efforts as well. There is a student and administrator committee to promote bystander intervention; the Bystander Intervention Committee or BIC. A student group, Sexual Assault Violence Eliminate (SAVE) which grew out of a merger of the former Women’s Center Committee, also named SAVE, and Men United Against Sexual Assault (MUASA.) There is a Committee on Sexual Misconduct which includes members representing faculty, staff and students. The Committee is responsible for, among other things, the Sexual Assault Awareness website which is populated with information on awareness, prevention, response, the College Policies, safety, the adjudication process and help for survivors .There is an annual Sexual Misconduct Forum(from which this question arose) at which Dr. Porterfield, Dean Hazlett, the College General Counsel, Pierce Buller and the Title IX Coordinator, Jan Masland answer questions from students about all parts of our policy and process. It is very poorly attended. Part of my response to this question is to ask the questioner for suggestions. What would be most effective in getting this information to the student body and encouraging its attendance. Is there a better way?
Q. How is the feedback that F&M will be giving to the Department of Education about the Betsy DeVos changes to Title IX decided?
A. In their 9/22/17 press release the the Dept. of Education had this to say about the comment period:
“In the coming months, hearing from survivors, campus administrators, parents, students and experts on sexual misconduct will be vital as we work to create a thoughtful rule that will benefit students for years to come. We also will continue to work with schools and community leaders to better address preventing sexual misconduct through education and early intervention,” DeVos added.
An extensive internet search did not produce any way to comment on the guidance from OCR and the College has not received notice of a comment period. It appears that OCR has not yet issued a request for comments. In the quote above, students can see that the comment period will be open to all. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of that and submit their questions individually. However, students are also welcome to send their comments to the Title IX Coordinator