Update for parents and alumni
April 14, 2015
Skidmore’s sexual and gender-based misconduct (SGBM) policy is much under discussion these days, with activity on many levels to heighten awareness about the college's policies, procedures and programs. The conversations on campus this spring have come in the wake of a broader discussion on both the state and national levels, reminding us that Skidmore is not alone in its efforts to deal with a complicated, delicate issue.
In a letter to the college community, President Philip A. Glotzbach addressed both the complexities of the issue and the impact on the campus. He wrote, "After more than eleven years at Skidmore and as a parent myself, I am profoundly troubled by the problem of sexual assault in our country and its persistence on our campus and so many others. Such acts do violence to our core values and have no place in our community."
His letter came on the heels of two campus-based discussions, including a March 24 forum on community values, relationships and culture moderated by Crystal Dea Moore, professor of social work and Quadracci Professor of Social Responsibility. Those attending the session were encouraged to examine the policy and consider how well it reflects the values of the campus community. Conversation also focused on the training of advocates who respond to reports of SGBM and consideration of mandatory sanctions.
The forum was the fourth and final all-college conversation this year. All feedback about the current version of the SGBM policy will be reviewed during the summer. Any revisions will be discussed and added prior to the start of the new academic year. Mariel Martin, Title IX deputy coordinator, explained that the policy and educational materials are always being reviewed with an eye toward revising to reflect campus expectations and values.
Nearly 90 alumni and parents participated in a March 31 webinar featuring members of the Advisory Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct. Questions covered such areas as mandatory sanctions, policy implementation and readmission for students found in violation of the policy.
Participants in the two-hour session "were thoughtful and engaged, raising important questions and offering constructive recommendations to the council," said Mariel L. Martin, deputy Title IX coordinator and director of student diversity programs. "While we could not respond to all questions and comments due to federal privacy requirements, we're committed to clarifying and improving our policies, procedures, and prevention work here at Skidmore."
In the days ahead, the Student Government Association, through the "It’s Happening Here" awareness campaign, will host two speakers. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, Tim Mousseau will talk about how to reframe the conversation around sexual misconduct and how to change a school’s culture. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, Liz Seccuro will discuss how technology has the potential to help and harm students and campuses facing issues of sexual assault. Both events are in Davis Auditorium and are open to the college community.