Dear Hobart and William Smith Students,

As your Student Trustees we wanted to reach out to you in response to the sexual misconduct case described in Sunday's New York Times article. It is sad and unsettling to think that something like this could happen on our college campus. We deeply regret the pain Anna has suffered. We hope to support her and other students who have been emotionally involved in acts of sexual misconduct.

Unfortunately, Hobart and William Smith is not the only institution that deals with sexual misconduct cases. As a result of the New York Times article our college has now been put into the spotlight. Together, Hobart and William Smith students and administrators are working to positively change policies and campus culture surrounding the topic of sexual misconduct and violence.

For many of us, Hobart and William Smith Colleges is a place we consider to be our home away from home and we will always have fond memories of the time we have spent here. President Gearan, the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff care greatly about all of us and our colleges. May we all come together as a community and begin to work with the administration in addition to working together as students of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. If we would like to see positive changes made in the way that sexual misconduct cases are handled then we as students must make a commitment to encourage transformation and growth within the culture of our campus.

If you have lost faith in our colleges we hope during this upcoming year you will restore it through the passionate students and staff on campus, as well as drastic curriculum, structural and cultural changes that Hobart and William Smith intends to implement. We have been in contact with President Gearan and he has pledged his full commitment to make structural and social change be the centerpiece of his work moving forward this year.

If you would like to help make a difference please sign the student petition (http://goo.gl/PdtTcL). There are many student advocate groups on campus right now including the Coalition of Concerned Students, Women's Collective, Hobart for Equality and Respect and many others. We hope you will reach out to students in these groups to get involved and start making change happen.

We can take this devastating situation and turn it into an opportunity to become a leader among institutions of higher learning. We can all come together to develop the best practices to educate students about sexual misconduct and to ensure that sexual misconduct cases are handled appropriately. Let us not forget that we are here to learn, and together we can learn to move forward.

If you need resources to help you or a friend through this situation or a personal situation, see the list below.

Safe Harbors:
Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, Inc. provides services, at no charge, for individuals, children, and families who have experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse, and interpersonal violence in Ontario, Seneca, and Yates Counties.

Seneca & Ontario Counties Hotline: 1-800-247-7273

E-Mail: ontariocounty@safeharborsfl.org

No More:
New symbol to increase awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Counseling Center:
The Center for Counseling and Student Wellness provides free, confidential services for HWS students, including individual and group counseling; emergency psychological services; and outreach and educational programming. The CCSW also offers psychological consultation to students, faculty and staff as well as parents and families who are concerned about a student.

Phone: (315) 781-3388

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE

RAINN

Biased Incident Reporting System:
http://www.hws.edu/about/bias_reporting.aspx


Sincerely your Student Trustees,

Caroline Demeter '15
Nicolas Stewart '15

Student Trustee Elects

Nicole O'Connell '16
Maxwell Gorton '16



Contact

Share suggestions and ideas for change with Hobart and William Smith Colleges: HWSfeedback@hws.edu


A student group, the Coalition of Concerned Students, is working to ensure that the Colleges are a safe environment for all students and are joining with the Colleges and the HWS Community for Change to enact policy and climate changes. The Coalition of Concerned Students can be reached at: hwscocs@gmail.com.

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