Update on campus safety alerts
October 6, 2015
Dear Skidmore students,
While I wish this letter were about the many great accomplishments and events that have already happened across campus this semester—and there is so much to say that is laudable—I am, unfortunately, writing about the disappointing, inexcusable and damaging behavior occurring within our community.
As you likely are all aware, there have been three sexual and gender-based misconduct (SGBM) incidents requiring safety alert notifications on campus since the beginning of the academic year. These incidents are of great concern. This behavior will not be tolerated, and thorough investigations are well underway. As is the case with any ongoing investigation, we cannot share all information with the community; however, we will accept all information that you have regarding these and any other related incidents. Information can be shared anonymously at our TIPS line, 518-580-8477.
We take all reports of sexual and gender-based misconduct very seriously and begin investigating immediately after we are informed. We alert the campus as soon as possible with pertinent information that we can confirm. Beyond our active investigations of all three incidents, we have stepped up Campus Safety presence to help prevent future incidents. Beginning on Thursday October 8, I have asked the Residential Life staff to hold meetings for each residence hall to discuss these incidents and to provide updates. Additionally, the Wellspring victim advocate will host group support forums on October 13 in Bolton 102 from 2 to 3 p.m. and October 16 in Library 417 from 1 to 2 p.m. I continue to be in conversations with members of SGA, peer health educators and others to discuss future preventive actions that will be taken.
I am reassured that reporting of SGBM incidents is increasing, and I strongly urge all students to continue to report any misconduct. Although it may seem like these incidents are on the rise, we know from our survey data over the last ten years that the incident rate of SGBM on campus is not changing. However, that is not good enough. We all must continue to do our part to make this a safe community.
In an effort to heighten awareness around the recent events but also to remind you of deliberate steps that you can take to assure your safety on campus, please review the following information.
- Residence hall bathroom door locks
- Engaging in a campuswide audit of all residence hall bathroom locks to determine that they are functioning properly.
- Campus Safety
- Increased patrols in the residence halls, at night and in particular on weekends.
- During general campus rounds, Campus Safety officers will speak with students about any activities out of the ordinary.
- Residential Life staff
- Know that your resident assistant/unit assistant staff is regularly available and on call from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Safety alerts
- Safety alerts are meant to inform the community of any potential danger and also assist in gathering information related to a reported incident.
- In an effort to ensure the privacy of reporting individuals and to protect the integrity of the investigation, we can’t share details related to an investigation, but we are always open to receiving any and all relevant information to aid in our investigation.
- Information can also be shared through the Campus Safety's anonymous TIPS line at 518-580-8477.
- On September 8, 2015, the president sent a letter to the community articulating sexual and gender-based misconduct as a top priority and highlighting information sessions.
- The president sent a letter to families and guardians on September 28, 2015, highlighting the recent Scope Magazine article featuring Skidmore’s response to sexual and gender-based misconduct.
- Title IX and Conduct offices offered open office hours on Monday, October 5.
- Residential Life
- Buildingwide meeting with professional staff beginning on October 8.
- Conversations and meetings.
On- and Off-Campus Resources
- Campus Safety: 518-580-5566 (emergency) 518-580-5567 (non-emergency)
- Anonymous TIPS line: 518-580-8477
- Skidmore victim advocates (anonymous): 518-580-5684, 518-580-8256
- Wellspring victim advocates on campus in Case Center weekly; see posted hours in Student Wellness Center (third floor, Case Center)
- Peer health educators (peer-to-peer anonymous and how to access, sexual health, LGBTQ health, Title IX work, bystander intervention) The enhanced Campus Student Wellness Center (Case Center, former CSGR)
- Counseling Center: 518-580-5555 (confidential)
- Health Services: 518-580-5550 (confidential)
- Residential Life staff: 518-580-5765
- Anonymous reporting form: http://skidmore/sgbmanon
- Wellspring: 518-584-8188, http://www.wellspringcares.org
- Saratoga Hospital: 518-886-5800
- Saratoga Springs Police Department: 518-584-1800
How to get involved
- It is your place: active bystander reminder (step up, step out, step over): https://www.skidmore.edu/sgbm/preventing.php)
- Attend events
- Wellness Center and peer health educators—Title IX PHE group meets October 14 in Bolton 102 from 5:30 6:30 p.m.
- The Wellspring victim advocate will host group support forums on the following dates:
- Tuesday October 13 in Bolton 102 from 2 to 3 p.m.
- Friday October 16 in Library 417 from 1 to 2 p.m.
- Join the SGA Working Group (Miles Calzini, email@example.com)
Gail Cummings-Danson, Ed.D.
Interim Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs