In early 2014, The White House created a task force to take an in-depth look at sexual misconduct on college campuses. As part of the "Not Alone" initiative, the task force released a series of recommendations and new guidelines designed to address the issue. The Colleges have lent its support to this work. Through collaboration, we hope to identify and enact new practices that will help to prevent violence from occurring and, when it does, to best assist students who have experienced assault.
In line with these efforts, on May 1, the Department of Education released the names of schools about which it has received a complaint, including Hobart and William Smith. In its communication, the U.S. Department of Education's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon is quoted: "I also want to make it clear that a college or university's appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law."
Hobart and William Smith will cooperate fully with any inquiries from the Department of Education related to this complaint as we continue to work in earnest to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students.
This webpage has been created to centralize information about the Colleges' resources on sexual misconduct and Title IX, as well as to share any new information on the investigation as it becomes available.
Does the first-year orientation include discussions around this topic? Yes. All students are required to participate in a 90 minutes session during the second day of new student orientation. All students participate in additional mandatory rape prevention programs during the first six weeks of their first semester.
Do these discussions periodically recur during the ensuing years? Yes. The staff of Residential Education and the Center for Counseling and Student Wellness regularly coordinate to provide updated educational sessions in the residence halls on an annual basis. All students are required to attend. In addition, all students are required to participate in an on-line training prior to registration for housing selection.
Who leads these sessions? These sessions are led by trained staff members from the Office of Counseling and the Office of Residential Life and make use of noted national experts.
Are the Colleges prepared to handle sexual misconduct issues? Hobart and William Smith Colleges have long been considered a national leader on issues of sexual assault. Former director of counseling Dr. Alan Berkowitz is among the pioneers in the research and prevention of sexual violence and continues to be a national leader on the topic. The Social Norms work of Professor of Sociology H. Wesley Perkins and Professor of Chemistry David Craig is considered best practice in the prevention of violence.
The Rape Prevention Program for Men - designed originally by Berkowitz and Dean Chip Capraro - is considered a Best Practice by the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Education, and several professional organizations.