In his letter to the Emerson community on September 2, 2014, President Lee Pelton announced the College’s bold, comprehensive program designed to enhance the community’s ability to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct and violence in five key areas:
- Providing care and support to the survivors of sexual assault and other forms of power-based violence
- Implementing primary prevention strategies and education
- Adjudicating complaints of sexual assault
- Enhanced training for faculty, staff, and students
- Conducting biennial campus climate surveys
These key areas are based on national best practices and recommendations taken from the Task Force on Sexual Assault and Margolis Healy & Associates.
On September 2, President Pelton’s letter also announced the College’s new Policy on Sexual Misconduct included processes for students, faculty and staff, and a new adjudication model established for violations to the College’s Policy.
The Office of Violence Prevention & Response has been established to provide advocacy and support to the survivors of sexual assault and other forms of power-based violence and leads the implementation of primary prevention strategies and education. A second Survivor advocate was hired in October 2014. From May 2014 through February 2015, the Office of Violence Prevention & Response has provided advocacy services to over 30 students, faculty, and staff who have experienced power-based interpersonal violence in the past or during their time at Emerson; conducted 72 education programs to 452 community members (unduplicated); delivered 24 first responder trainings to 772 community members (unduplicated); and coordinated 128 outreach activities.
In keeping with best practices for the development of sexual assault prevention education programs, the College launched Emerson 360: Community Climate Survey in November of 2014, ModernThink, known for conducting the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work for Survey, assisted us in the delivery of the survey. The response rate for the survey was 66% percent. The data is currently being analyzed and we expect to share the survey findings in the near future.
The College is in the process of developing of a comprehensive training program for staff and faculty. Margolis Healy & Associates conducted Title IX training for key campus responders in January of 2015.
Our new approach is forward-leaning: we are implementing emerging best practices and standards in the area of preventing and responding to sexual assault. We hope our new program will serve as a model for other colleges and universities. More information and details can be found at Emerson’s Response to Title IX.