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Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
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Update from the Advisory Council on Sexual and Gender-Based Miscondut

March 3, 2015

Dear Skidmore Community,

I write with an update regarding the work of the Advisory Council on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct (SGBM). The Advisory Council worked extensively over the summer to update our sexual and gender-based misconduct policy. We have spent this year reviewing the revised policies and procedures and have shared the policy with various constituencies—the entire Skidmore community, including students, staff, faculty, the President’s Cabinet and the Board of Trustees and both internal and external consultants and attorneys—to ensure we received comprehensive input and feedback.

Through that work, we have heard common concerns as well as shared (and sometimes conflicting) priorities regarding our policies, procedures and prevention work at Skidmore. We have been working to implement several initiatives to: 1. increase community awareness of sexual and gender-based misconduct, 2. strengthen our prevention and education efforts as well as our bystander intervention training, and 3. publicize and enhance on- and off-campus support and reporting resources. Based on community feedback and the work of the Advisory Council, some of the changes we’ve already made include:

  • Hosted three open forums in the fall semester for the Skidmore community to engage in frank conversations about our policy, practices and procedures related to SGBM.
  • Launched the SGBM website.
  • Created an online anonymous reporting form.
  • Increased on-campus sexual and gender-based misconduct advisor options for both reporting individuals and responding students.
  • Developed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Saratoga Springs Police Department to clarify how our local law enforcement can assist when a student elects to report an incident of SGBM.
  • Improved and elaborated SGBM Administrative Hearing Board training.
  • Updated fliers in all residence hall and apartment bathrooms.
  • Expanded relationship with Wellspring (formerly Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County) and initiated a plan to bring Wellspring advocates to campus several hours a week to support students.
  • Currently administering updated student sexual and gender-based misconduct campus climate survey.

Our continued work includes:

  • Review and modify SGBM sanctioning guidelines.
  • Revise the SGBM hearing procedure for more clarity.
  • Improve the communication of SGBM Hearing Board rationale for decisions and sanctioning determinations.
  • Expand training for students, staff and faculty, including additional mandated training for all students on bystander intervention, policies and procedures, support resources and reporting options.
  • Title IX/sexual and gender-based misconduct syllabus language.

As a reminder, Skidmore College annually publishes the Campus Safety and Security Report and Fire Safety Report, which contains crime statistics, including reported sexual assaults, from the previous three years, institutional policies related to sexual and gender-based misconduct, prevention efforts and reporting information. Our current report, featuring statistics from 2011, 2012 and 2013, is available online.

The Advisory Council will spend the semester reviewing the feedback we’ve received thus far and will begin to draft revised policies, practices and procedures for preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based misconduct at Skidmore. For more information about the Advisory Council, including membership, visit our website. If you have any questions or comments for the Advisory Council regarding our current policy, please contact me at mariel@skidmore.edu.

Best,

Mariel L. Martin
Chair, Advisory Council for Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
Director of Student Diversity Programs/Title IX Deputy Coordinator