Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
To the Skidmore Community:
As President, I am determined that Skidmore live up to the values of mutual respect and caring that are central to our educational mission. That commitment is being tested by the continuing challenge of sexual and gender-based misconduct on our campus. Recent local and national developments have highlighted the difficulty—and yet the importance—of effectively addressing this issue. It continues to be imperative for me to underscore my dedication to do all we can as a College, both to ensure the safety of our students and to treat every individual affected by these issues with fairness and respect.
As I reported last summer, we have significantly strengthened our policies and procedures in this area. We have also made important advances in our educational programing, with a particular emphasis on effective consent as fundamental to responsible sexual relationships. These efforts have been made not simply to ensure that we meet or exceed all current federal and state laws and regulations but also, and more importantly, to help us achieve our goal of creating a safe, respectful, and caring community. This work is not finished. Indeed, we are reminded almost daily about the ongoing attention we need to give to this issue, both at the College and in our larger society.
To ensure that our policies reflect best practices in higher education, our own experiences, and changes in existing laws, we continue to review all of our policies and procedures, seeking to improve them whenever and wherever we can. The public forums held in the fall provided valuable guidance from the community about possible policy revisions. And in fact, we have made a number of changes, even since the beginning of this academic year, while others remain under active consideration. I have asked Mariel Martin, Director of Student Diversity Programs, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, and Chair of the Advisory Council for Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct, to communicate with you in the coming days to outline those changes. Please review our website on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct.
Lastly, even as I reiterate my own commitment to addressing this issue, I acknowledge that eliminating sexual and gender-based assault at Skidmore ultimately will depend on the willingness of each member of our community to embrace this goal. Our Student Government Association (SGA) has provided admirable leadership through the “It’s Happening Here” campaign and the SGA photo campaign. Other student voices also have been raised in support of survivors of assault and have called for institutional change. But in the end, ideals must be lived. Doing so requires a daily effort by each of us to respect and care for every other member of our community. For this reason, I once again call for your continued support for—and your personal commitment to—this work that is so crucial for us all.
Philip A. Glotzbach