Message from the President
21 August 2014
To the Skidmore Community:
Over the past several months, the issue of sexual misconduct on college campuses has attracted considerable media attention both locally and nationally. Skidmore does not tolerate sexual and gender-based misconduct, and I am writing to update you on some recent steps we have taken to address this issue and to foster a campus climate of respect, care, and safety.
More than five years ago, I charged Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs W. Rochelle Calhoun to conduct a full-scale review of our practices in this area. That work led to a dramatic revision of our policies and procedures, and we have continued to review and, as appropriate, update those practices annually. Let me now announce three additional actions:
First, we have created a new website (http://www.skidmore.edu/sexualmisconduct/) that brings all pertinent information together in one place and in a more accessible format. It includes the most up-to-date information regarding our policies and procedures, how we respond to and adjudicate reports of misconduct, and where to go for help or to have questions answered. I expect that this web site will continue to evolve, and we would welcome your suggestions on how to make it even more useful and effective.
Second, we will hold a series of public forums that will both discuss our approach in responding to incidents of sexual and gender-based misconduct and, more importantly, seek to identify ways we can reduce and ultimately eliminate such incidents. That schedule is as follows:
- Monday, September 15th, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in Davis Auditorium
- Wednesday, October 8th, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium
- Tuesday, November 4th, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in Davis Auditorium
Third, we know that statistically, entering students are among the most vulnerable to sexual misconduct. Accordingly, we have built upon our previous New-Student Orientation to create a comprehensive new program titled “The First 6 Weeks” that will address a wide range of issues during this important transitional moment for students. These issues include drug and alcohol use and respect for oneself and others, as well as sexual and gender-based misconduct.
As President, one of my central concerns is ensuring that Skidmore lives up to the values of respect and care for one another that are central to our educational mission. The administration, therefore, must take the lead in addressing these concerns. But any lasting solution will require commitment from the entire campus. While these issues can be personal for any one of us, we all are responsible for dealing with them effectively. Accordingly, I call upon each of us to join in making Skidmore the kind of community we all want it to be. We are in this together.
Philip A. Glotzbach