Posted on Nov 17, 2011 | Comments 0
Last spring, the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was launching an investigation of Yale University’s response to allegations of sexual harassment on its campus. A group of 16 Yale students had claimed that members of a Yale fraternity marched through campus chanting derogatory slogans targeting women. The women claimed that Yale’s response was inadequate and, as a result, a sexually hostile environment existed on campus.
In response, Yale University President Richard Levin appointed an advisory committee that was given the task of making recommendations to remedy any problems that may exist.
The committee presented its report to President Levin last month. In a recent email to the campus community, President Levin reports that Yale is taking the following actions:
• University leaders — including the deans of Yale College, graduate and professional schools, and the provost — will communicate that sexual misconduct has no place a Yale in a coordinated and aligned manner.
• The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Center (SHARE) will be positioned as the main resource for undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students who either are coping with sexual misconduct or helping a friend do so. SHARE provides a full range of information, advocacy, and support services, including assisting in the process of filing a disciplinary or criminal complaint. Given its raised profile, the SHARE Center will be provided with additional staff.
• The Title IX Coordinators will continue to serve students, faculty, and staff on matters related to sexual discrimination and misconduct. A senior administrator will be appointed with the responsibility of overseeing the University’s compliance with Title IX.
• A Sexual Misconduct Response website has been created to help everyone understand the avenues available for responding to specific incidents.
• Yale College will facilitate undergraduate training on sexual assault prevention for leaders of student organizations; the Office of the Provost will facilitate training for graduate and professional school student organizations; and the Yale College Communication and Consent Educators will provide peer leadership in preventing sexual misconduct and fostering a more positive sexual climate.
• The student leadership council model will be used to increase awareness in areas such as fraternities and sororities.
President Levin told the campus community, “It is not enough to provide an outstanding experience to some or even most of our students. Every student deserves to feel safe, well supported, and protected from harassment and the pernicious effects of sexual misconduct. No one should be subjected to sexual misconduct — whether staff, faculty, or student — and, should improper conduct occur, our response must be equally strong and effective for all.”
Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment