Members of the Faculty and Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the University Student Life Committee continued their work over the summer, meeting jointly on a weekly basis to consider student concerns related to the handling of sexual misconduct cases.
The joint committee is expected to release a report early next month as part of Princeton’s continuing commitment to ensuring that all of its community members can learn, work, and thrive in a safe, supportive, and fair environment, free from sexual misconduct and all forms of discrimination. This report will include recommendations for ways the University can further strengthen its policies and practices around these difficult issues.
The joint committee is co-chaired by W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life; undergraduate Nicolas Gregory; graduate student Mai Nguyen; graduate student Abigail Novick; and J. Nicole Shelton, Stuart Professor of Psychology and Head of Butler College.
As part of their work, the committee members have consulted with a variety of students and administrators over 18 meetings since May. Among those involved in the meetings have been concerned students, administrators trained to serve as Title IX advisers, administrators involved in implementation of the sexual misconduct disciplinary process, and staff members from Counseling and Psychological Services and SHARE. In addition, an outside consultant facilitated several focus groups, including with RCAs, SHARE Peer officers, student leaders from the Centers (Fields Center, LGBT Center, and Women’s Center), Graduate Women in STEM, and student protest delegates
The joint committee has focused its work on the Title IX process, support structures in place for students, the campus climate and culture, and education and training.
Among other preliminary steps, the committees are creating a working group on restorative justice practices that will explore strategies for community building and conflict resolution, and the committees have endorsed a new web portal, launched by the Office of Gender Equity and Title IX Administration, designed to help students access information about support resources and the sexual misconduct investigation/adjudication and appeal process.
In addition, based on recommendations of the committees, an expansion of the SHARE staff to meet the growing needs of students is under consideration, and Vice President Calhoun is bringing together relevant campus offices to examine how to streamline the process for students to apply for funding to help with mental health or other medical needs.
More information about the committees’ work can be found on the University’s Sexual Misconduct and Title IX webpage.
Separately, an external review of the University’s Title IX process, requested by Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Michele Minter and Director of Gender Equity and Title IX Administration Regan Crotty, has also been underway through the summer.
The external review is being conducted by three professionals with extensive relevant experience at other universities: Amy Adelman, Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Emory University; Howard Kallem (Ret.), formerly the Director for Title IX Compliance, Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University, who also has nearly two decades of prior experience in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights; and Laura Rugless, Executive Director and Title IX Coordinator, Equity and Access Services, Virginia Commonwealth University.
To date, the external reviewers have reviewed all relevant University policies and procedures, and have met with 25 University administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The University anticipates the review will be publicly released in October.
Additional opportunities for engagement with the campus community on these sensitive and important topics will be planned.