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Skidmore College
Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
Resources and Information

Preventing Sexual Violence

Get involved on campus  |  Bystander intervention  |  Affirmative consent

Get Involved on Campus

To become directly involved in preventing sexual violence at Skidmore, consider becoming active in two campus organizations:

  • The Student Wellness Center. The Student Wellness Center, located on the third floor of Case Center, is a student run, administratively affiliated safe space for reporting incidents of sexual and gender-based misconduct and obtaining support after incidents of sexual and gender-based misconduct. Trained peer health educators can help students get help from on and off campus resources. Hours, which vary by semester, are posted on the door to the Wellness Center.

  • Advisory Council on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct (on hiatus). An interdisciplinary group of staff members and students, the advisory council reports directly to the President’s Office about issues related to sexual misconduct policy, prevention and resources at Skidmore. Please consider attending any of the regular community forums hosted by the ACSGBM. If you are interested in joining the advisory council or would like more information about Skidmore’s prevention efforts and response to the issues of sexual misconduct, dating violence or stalking, please contact any of the following members:

    • Joel Aure, Title IX coordinator (chair)
    • Mariel L. Martin, associate dean of student affairs
    • Ann Marie Przywara, director of residence life
    • Katie Wright, assistant director of student conduct and SGBM investigator
    • Crystal Moore, associate dean of the faculty for diversity and faculty affairs
    • Julia Routbort, associate dean of student affairs, health and wellness
    • Patty Bosen, director of health services
    • Jen McDonald, director of health promotion/victim advocate
    • Tim Munro, director of campus safety
    • Glen Vidnansky, assistant director for investigations and compliance and SGBM investigator
    • Saytra Green, assistant director for equal employment opportunity and workforce diversity
    • Jamin Totino, sexual and gender-based misconduct advisor for responding students
    • TBD, peer health educator representative
    • TBD, SGA representative

Understanding Campus Programming

Skidmore works to ensure the following types of programming are offered at various times throughout the year to a variety of audiences. Community members are encouraged to participate in all opportunities. 

Awareness programs means community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety and reduce perpetration.

Bystander intervention means safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options and taking action to intervene.

Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns means programming, initiatives and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills for addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.

Primary prevention programs means programming, initiatives and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.

Risk reduction means options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention, by The Ohio State University
If you find this video helpful and wish to use it, please contact
Mariel Martin for permission prior to use.

The best way to prevent sexual and relationship violence from occurring in our campus community is to commit to the following guiding values:

Violence is not tolerated on our campus. Everyone is expected to do their part to reduce violence on our campus.  No one has to do everything, but everyone in our community must do something. The "something" we must all commit to is engaging in bystander moments, no matter how small. Every bystander moment counts when we are working to reduce violence.

Bystander moments occur when we are cued in to the potential for violence. We might see someone intentionally trying to get someone else drunk, isolating someone into another room or recognize power differences like age. When we notice these cues it is important to make the choice to act because even the smallest action can prevent violence.

There are four types of bystander intervention we can choose to act out on campus:

  • Step up: These bystander moments involve directly talking to someone or intervening in a situation. It could mean saying to a friend, "Hey, you've been pretty hard to reach lately; is everything OK?" or stepping in to take an intoxicated friend back to their residence hall. Bystander "step-up" moments can also be watching a friend's drink for them while they are in the bathroom or speaking up if someone uses the term rape in a joke or in contexts other than a serious discussion of sexual violence.
  • Step over: These moments are all about getting others involved. Stepping over in a bystander moment could mean calling Campus Safety or 911 for help, asking a friend to assist you in finding a ride for a friend or asking the host of a party to ask someone to leave.
  • Step out: These moments use a step-out strategy to interrupt precursors to violence to prevent a harmful situation from ever occurring. Step-out moments could include spilling a drink, singing loudly or telling someone that their car is getting towed.
  • Delay: For many reasons, you may not be able to do something right in the moment. For example, if you're feeling unsafe or if you're unsure whether or not someone in the situation is feeling unsafe, you may just want to check in with the person. In this case, you can combine a distraction technique by asking the person to use the bathroom with you or go get a drink with you to separate them from the person that they are talking with. Then, this might look like asking them, "Are you OK?" or "How can I help you get out of this situation?" This could also look like texting the person, either in the situation or after you see them leave and asking, "Are you OK?" or "Do you need help?" 

Affirmative Consent

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. It is informed, freely and actively given by mutually understandable words and/or actions that indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity—in other words, to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other. Skidmore strongly encourages partners to talk with each other before engaging in sexual activity and to communicate as clearly and verbally as possible with each other. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that they have received effective consent before initiating sexual activity. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

7 C’s to help ensure you get consent

  • Choice: It must be freely and willingly given.
  • Communication: Talk, make physical cues, make sure the partner is OK with this. Silence is not OK. Silence, lack of eye contact or unconsciousness means stop.
  • Clarify: If you’re unsure, clarify with your partner that this is what you both want.
  • Consistent and collaborative: Partner(s) mutually know what that words or actions mean and want to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time.
  • Considerate: Listen to your partner respect their boundaries, body and voice. "No" is no. "Not now" is no. "I’m not sure" is no, etc.
  • Continual: Happens throughout the course of sexual activity. Just because someone kisses you doesn’t give you a green light to go to second or third base. Each new activity requires a new consent.

Consent matters