Sexual Misconduct Task Force
 

Skidmore College annually reviews its disciplinary policies and processes and, from time to time, conducts a more extensive review. In September 2009, Dean of Student Affairs Rochelle Calhoun appointed an 11-member task force made up of faculty, students, and Student Affairs staff to conduct a comprehensive review of the College's policies and procedures as they apply to sexual assault and misconduct.

The Advisory Council on Sexual Misconduct, made up of students, faculty and members of the Student Affairs staff, has been working throughout the 2009-10 academic year and is due to report on its recommendations to the College in September 2010. The panel conducted exhaustive research, consulted experts and lead discussions with Skidmore students, faculty and staff throughout the year. In the fall of 2013, the Task Force transitioned to the Advisory Council on Sexual Misconduct.

Our aim is to create a disciplinary process that treats all those involved with dignity, respect, honor, and fairness. This is crucial not only for the complainant  and the accused, but for the Skidmore community as a whole.

The College is committed to ensuring that our policies concerning sexual misconduct are informed by the most current research. We have engaged to assist us in this review one of the nation's leading experts on these issues, Saunie Schuster, a partner in the Ohio-based law firm of Schuster & Clifford LLP and a former faculty member and associate dean of student affairs at Ohio State University. She is scheduled to visit the campus on May 26 to meet with the Task Force, provide training and conduct workshops. 
 
Because college disciplinary processes are not courts of law, we have some latitude in how we design our procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct cases. We have many options by which to maintain the rights of all parties while creating an environment that protects the individuals involved. It is only by exploring these options that colleges ultimately can create an environment in which students who have experienced sexual misconduct feel confident in coming forward.

The following are five major dimensions of the issues that the Task Force is examining: 

The following persons on campus are trained as sexual misconduct support persons. They are available to support students who are bringing forth complaints of sexual misconduct. Any student who has experienced sexual misconduct while at Skidmore is entitled to choose a support person. Students do not need to go forward with their complaints to an administrative hearing in order to have a support person. Having a support person is encouraged, but is completely voluntary. Students may elect to change support persons at any time.

Advisory Council Members

  • Mariel Martin - Title IX Deputy Coordinator
  • Don Hastings - Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Student Conduct Officer
  • Julia Routbort - Director of the Counseling Center, or designee
  • Patty Bosen - Director of Health Services, or designee
  • Jen McDonald - Director of Health Promotion
  • Michelle Murray - Assistant Director of Health Promotion
  • Dennis Conway OR Larry Britt - Director or Associate Director of Campus Safety
  • David Karp - Sexual Misconduct Advisor for Respondents
  • Herb Crossman - Assistant Director for Equal Employment Opportunity and Workforce Diversity
  • Lauren O'Donnell '14 – Head PA in the Center
  • Rachael Bowen '14 – Head PA in the Center
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