Message Regarding Sexual Respect - 2014 Skip Navigation

Message Regarding Sexual Respect

September, 2014
Dear members of the Colgate community:

Over the past several months, there has been a burgeoning national dialogue about the persistent challenges universities face as they strive to make campuses safe for all students. We write to say that we are committed to ending sexual violence at Colgate, and to call on all students, faculty, and staff to report any incidents that do occur so they can be adjudicated appropriately.

We are especially keen to bring the issue out in the open at Colgate during the first several weeks of the semester, when new students are proven to be most at risk. All members of the Class of 2018 attended an hour-long presentation about “consent,” where they also learned about Colgate’s polices and reporting processes, and opportunities for bystander intervention training. As you know, letters have also been sent to all students and parents clearly stating our zero-tolerance policy and reinforcing the link between excessive drinking and negative consequences such as unwanted sexual contact and assault. (The text of that letter can be found here.)

Over the past few years, Colgate’s Sexual Climate Advisory Committee (SCAC) and other groups have promoted sexual respect. Education sessions have been held explaining our Equity Grievance Process (EGP) for resolving complaints of harassment and discrimination. During the 2013–2014 academic year, there were 61 positive sexuality and EGP-related programs/events for a total of 5,040 participants, including 140 students who received bystander intervention training. And yet, we still have a long way to go before all members of our community are educated and empowered to recognize, stop, and report unwanted sexual advances.

Over the summer Professor Lyn Rugg, associate provost for equity and diversity and Title IX coordinator, worked with others on campus to update and clarify our EGP process. She will make presentations at faculty meetings, all-staff meetings, and other settings. Later in the semester the SCAC, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, will announce events for the community, including a Sexual Climate Summit designed to bring us all together in solidarity.

We welcome your suggestions and comments, either to one of us, to Lyn Rugg, or through the EGP’s form for reporting an incident or concern.

Sincerely,
Sexual Climate Advisory Committee
Jeffrey Herbst
President
Douglas Hicks
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy Nelson
Dean of the College