Sexual Misconduct Task Force

Letter from  W. Rochelle Calhoun

Dean of Student Affairs

April 29, 2010

Dear Members of the Skidmore College Community,

A week ago the Sexual Assault Task Force held an open information session to inform the community about the work of the task force since it began meeting in September, 2009 and to listen closely to the concerns of members of the community.  Thank you to those of you who were able to attend.  As the Task Force—and members of the Skidmore community—we were grateful for the level of candid sharing and humbled by the passionate expressions of both concern and conviction.  We especially want to acknowledge the courage that it took for members of this community to share their stories.  It was not an easy or comfortable gathering.  But, it was an important beginning to the community dialogue necessary to change the culture of silence that surrounds sexual assault and acquaintance rape on college campuses and at Skidmore. 

The Task Force set hearing the concerns of the community as its highest priority for this first meeting on April 27th, 2010. However, at the meeting and since the meeting, we have heard from some of you how frustrating it was at times not to have answers.  While we don't have all the answers yet, we are writing this letter to the community to acknowledge that we did hear your voices and concerns. The Task Force hopes that this letter reflects what we heard at the community meeting and articulates more clearly what the Task Force has done and will do in the future.

What the Sexual Assault Task Force heard at the community meeting about the problem and possible solutions:

The Sexual Assault Task Force was created in September, 2009 by the Student Affairs Subcommittee of the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC) to do a comprehensive review of the current sexual assault policies and procedures and to make changes (and/or recommendations for changes) that improve the process.  That review is complete and the implementation for change has begun.


What the Sexual Assault Task Force has done and is planning to do:

Though Thursday's meeting was difficult, the Task Force appreciates the dialogue that was created and is committed to working to create a campus environment where community members feel safe and a part of a community that does not tolerate sexual assault and acquaintance rape.  We look forward to continuing our work together with you.

The Sexual Assault Task Force

Patricia Bosen
Director of Clinical Services, Health Center

W. Rochelle Calhoun
Dean of Student Affairs

Kathryn Child
Health Educator, Counseling Center

Dennis Conway
Director, Campus Safety

Patricia Ferraioli
Visiting Assistant Professor, Government

Don Hastings, chair
Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Campus Life

David Karp
Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Campus Life & Associate Professor of Sociology

Liza Nascembeni
Community Coordinator, Residential Life

Ralph Peer '10

Julia Routbort
Director, Counseling Center

Gemma Striker '10



*The Advocate will be an administrator or faculty member appointed by the dean of student affairs to support a student involved in sexual misconduct. Advocates will be available to both the complainant and the respondent.  Advocates will be trained, knowledgeable, neutral and empowered.  They will listen, believe, support, refer, empower, inform and help the student throughout the process.