Joint Committee meets to reaffirm commitment to address student concerns and provide support
Following a commitment made last week, representatives from the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the University Student Life Committee met this afternoon to begin discussing recent concerns raised by student activists over Title IX and related issues. These concerns will be reviewed in conjunction with the ongoing work of the committees to improve University policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct on campus.
The meeting, chaired by Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun, included a conversation with representatives of the students who recently released a list of suggested changes regarding Title IX. The students explained their concerns on a range of issues, and the joint committee committed to sharing its next steps with the University community in the coming days.
In recent years, informed by recommendations made by the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct, the University has made a number of important changes to strengthen its policies that prohibit sexual misconduct and its procedures for investigating and addressing cases. These changes have included enhanced training for faculty, students and staff; new policies; and additional staff. In addition, numerous changes have been made to the Sexual Misconduct website and “Rights, Rules, Responsibilities” to clarify procedures and practices, and make it easier for students, faculty and staff to access information and resources.
Earlier in the day, senior University officials sent a letter to all Princeton undergraduate and graduate students underscoring the University’s commitment to addressing issues raised in recent demonstrations on campus, in particular around sexual misconduct. The letter, from Calhoun; Jill Dolan, dean of the college; and Sarah-Jane Leslie, dean of the Graduate School, acknowledged the complexity of these issues and noted input from the community is critical to our efforts to maintain a safe, supportive and fair environment.
May 13, 2019
Dear Princeton Students,
As we look forward to Commencement and begin to celebrate student accomplishments, we know that for many of you this time of year can be increasingly stressful as you complete papers, projects, and research. Summer may seem close, but many of you have a great deal to do as the semester draws to a close.
In addition to the typical end-of-term work that they are completing, some of our students have recently staged demonstrations across campus. Students have been staging a peaceful protest in front of Nassau Hall to draw attention to their concerns about how sexual misconduct matters are adjudicated on campus. Last Monday’s CPUC meeting saw students organized by SPEAR protest the box applicants for admission to Princeton are required to check if they have a prior criminal adjudication or conviction. We appreciate and take seriously the concerns they have raised.
These issues are complex and difficult. We believe they should be considered in thoughtful and inclusive ways by committees of students, faculty and staff. The University has asked the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the University Student Life Committee to consider the activists’ Title IX concerns in conjunction with their on-going work to improve our policies, procedures, and resources to enhance the campus climate. These committees are holding a joint meeting this afternoon, which will provide an opportunity for students to address the issues. The Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid will continue to address SPEAR’s concerns about noting former convictions.
These are turbulent times, on campus and off. We want to remind you that you are not alone as you manage the natural — but sometimes overwhelming — stress associated with finishing the semester well. Please remember the many campus resources available to support you, including the residential college staff, the Graduate School staff, Office of Religious Life chaplains, and your professors and friends. Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) is open and available if you need support. You can speak with a counselor after hours by calling 609-258-3141.
We thank you for your many engagements with our campus’s intellectual and social debates throughout the year and wish you all well as the academic year draws to a close. We look forward to celebrating your many accomplishments and important contributions to the University community in the weeks ahead.
W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life
Jill S. Dolan, Dean of the College
Sarah-Jane Leslie, Dean of the Graduate School