What is the University doing, beyond discipline, to combat sexual misconduct?
The University’s efforts fall into five main categories:
1) Monitoring. The University routinely evaluates the campus environment to understand students' experiences, especially concerning social activities, patterns of behavior, and students' health and safety.
2) Prevention. Based on these assessments of campus culture, the University develops prevention programs to address concerns strategically.
3) Response. When incidents happen, the University's response includes supporting students and their friends, preserving evidence, gathering critical information, providing medical response, informing victims of their options, and creating an environment that feels safe.
4) Partnerships. The University has entered into a partnership with medical professionals from area emergency departments, and works as well with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office to ensure readiness and cooperation.
5) Training. The University trains students on effective bystander intervention. Residential life staff, Greek leaders, Women's Center residents, and peer educators all receive basic training on prevention and response. Staff members involved in the investigation and hearing process receive training to understand the issues and prepare for their roles.
The University has instituted a range of programs to promote respect on campus, prevent sexual misconduct, and encourage reporting when misconduct does occur:
ReThink: Respect and Dignity, a task force begun in 2012, engaged the broad topic of respect, including respect for self, respect for others, and respect for the welfare of the community.
Following the recommendations of this task force, the University focused efforts during the 2013-14 academic year in key areas: prevention, reporting, investigations, and training. All are ongoing.
Prevention efforts have included bystander intervention training, "Choices 101" first-year programming, campus-wide events, and a value-based “know thyself” program.
Reporting and investigation efforts have included the facilitation of an environment of transparency and trust among students, faculty, staff and the broader Sewanee community; developing a SHARE -- Sexual Harassment & Assault Resource Educators -- team; improving the gathering of information, including allowing anonymous reports; and developing a clear, published enforcement process.
The University publishes monthly an “Inside the Gates” email message, transparently reporting the most recent conduct violation statistics, including reports of incidents of sexual misconduct.
The University has also established the Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, which is a partnership between the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, the District Attorney's office, the Southern Tennessee Regional Health System (formerly Emerald Hodgson Hospital), and the University, especially involving deans, health and counseling services, and the Women's Center.
Training efforts have included values-based education in small groups, peer education programs, and the training of all participants in relevant processes. Staff from the Chattanooga Rape Crisis Center provided training for key health and counseling staff, police, members of the SHARE team, and the Faculty Discipline Committee. (In 2014-15 this Committee is evolving into a University Conduct Committee.)
All incoming first-year students are now required to complete an on-line alcohol education course containing a module on sexual misconduct that focuses on intervention and bystander behavior.
Student organizations, including the Women’s Center and Greek organizations, have taken part in the planning and implementation of these efforts. Students, for example, brought Katie Koestner, founder of the Take Back the Night Foundation and the first survivor of date rape to speak out publicly, to speak on campus.
Where can I find more information?
For more information on prevention and awareness, please go here or see the information listed below:
The annual Security and Fire Safety report (updated each October 1)
Data from the “Think First” program, a comprehensive strategy of proactive efforts to promote healthier use of and attitudes toward alcohol, and to reduce the harmful behaviors associated with alcohol.
University Approved Posters and Campaign Logos