College Continues Call for Comment on Tougher Penalties for Sexual Assault

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Dartmouth Hall

(Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Comments are coming in on Dartmouth’s tougher sexual assault sanctions in the week following the release of the proposed policy changes, which include mandatory expulsion in certain cases of sexual assault and a new investigatory process employing outside investigators.

The comment period on the new policy, unanimously endorsed earlier this month by the Board of Trustees, is open through April 14. College officials are asking the campus community to comment on the proposal.

“Comments are beginning to come in, and we look forward to many opportunities for dialogue as the spring term begins. We strongly encourage all members of the community to review the proposal in full and to share their feedback,” says Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson.

The comprehensive policy revision comes after a busy winter term that saw Dartmouth pursue the fight against sexual assault on campus on a number of fronts. President Phil Hanlon ’77 joined other higher education leaders at a White House meeting on sexual assault, and he and other campus leaders attended a national conference on the issue at the University of Virginia. The College announced the creation of the Center for Community Action and Prevention, and faculty and staff began training as first responders in cases of sexual assault.

Here’s a look at recent coverage of the College’s work on preventing sexual assault:

• Symposium Attendees Discuss Sexual Assault Prevention
April 6, 2014

Students, staff, and faculty heard about the College’s ongoing work to combat sexual assault at Friday’s Third Annual SPCSA Symposium on Sexual Assault.

• ‘Moving Dartmouth Forward’ to Discuss Careers, Sexual Assault
March 31, 2014

The next Moving Dartmouth Forward sessions will take up life post-graduation, consider faculty recruitment and retention, and continue Dartmouth’s efforts to address sexual assault, in events scheduled for next Monday, April 7; April 14 and April 22.

College Seeks Comments on Sex Assault Disciplinary Policy
March 14, 2014

President Hanlon , Dean Johnson, and other College leaders ask members of the community to comment and offer suggestions on a proposal to revise the College’s student disciplinary policy regarding charges of sexual assault. Along with a new external investigatory process, the sanctions include mandatory expulsion in cases of sexual assault.

Trustees Support Revision of Sexual Assault Disciplinary Policy
March 8, 2014

The Board of Trustees voice unanimous support for a proposal to comprehensively revise Dartmouth’s disciplinary system regarding sexual assault by students.

President Hanlon Attends Conference at the White House
February 28, 2014

President Hanlon is one of nine college and university presidents demonstrating leadership in the effort to combat sexual assault who were invited to the White House for a meeting on February 26 with Vice President Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services.

Grants Support Student Sex Assault Prevention
February 19, 2014

A Dartmouth student is looking at how colleges and universities investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases, and another student is interviewing Dartmouth Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPA) and assault response professionals to find ways to improve survivor support at the College.

Straight Talk on Sexual Violence, Reports ‘Inside Higher Ed’
February 11, 2014

During a much-anticipated conference at the University of Virginia, a panel of six college presidents, including President Hanlon, discuss sexual misconduct on campuses, reports Inside Higher Ed.

New Center to Focus on Sexual Assault Prevention
February 7, 2014

Dean Johnson announces the creation of a new center for the prevention of sexual assault and violence. The Center, which will be known as the Center for Community Action and Prevention, will serve as the hub for the new Dartmouth Bystander Initiative and related violence prevention programs. From an office in Robinson Hall, the Center will build on the current campus momentum for change, mobilize students and community members to take action to prevent sexual violence, and empower students to make a difference.

Gillibrand ’88 Among Social Justice Award Recipients
January 24, 2014

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ’88 (D-NY) is one of five champions of social justice to be honored during Dartmouth’s annual celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. The junior senator from New York was honored for her work on issues such as sexual assault in the U.S. military.

Hanlon Speaks on Community Life and Student Safety
November 20, 2013

Dartmouth is working to create a stronger sense of community in undergraduate residential life and to offer more social opportunities, President Hanlon told the Faculty of Arts & Sciences in a November 18 address on undergraduate student life. He outlined ideas for community improvement and discussed the progress the College has made on student safety issues, including sexual assault.

How Bystanders Can Help Put a Stop to Sexual Violence
July 22, 2013

Jennifer Messina ’93, a clinical psychologist and expert in trauma and recovery from violence, is helping Dartmouth implement a program called the Dartmouth Bystander Initiative (DBI), as the College works on issues related to sexual assault. Messina, who has provided training and consultation to a number of universities, nonprofit groups, and military installations across the country, says the goal of DBI is to foster a culture of support in which people feel they can take positive steps to help their peers and to defuse threatening situations.