CIVIL RIGHTS AND TITLE IX COORDINATOR
The federal government sets educational requirements through Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act. We must train everyone about Kenyon’s policies and procedures, appropriately train investigators and first responders and conduct primary prevention
activities. The bigger question is, “Who is responsible for preventing sexual misconduct in our community?” That responsibility belongs to everyone. The Kenyon community is the most caring that I have encountered in my career. Utilizing that commitment to others’ well-being, we can move toward an environment free of the harm caused by sexual violence. We can do this by educating ourselves and each other, participating in prevention activities and being active bystanders. You may hear or see things that perpetuate a sexually violent environment. If you see someone who may be at risk, do something. Ask for help from staff, intervene in the situation, or distract the people involved. Challenge rape myths. Speak up when someone jokes about rape, telling them it is not funny. Refer those impacted by sexual violence or harassment to me and/or the resources provided by the College and local community. At Kenyon, this is one more way that we can take care of each other.
DEPUTY CIVIL RIGHTS AND TITLE IX COORDINATOR, PROFESSOR EMERITA OF PSYCHOLOGY
At its core, sexual misconduct is a sociocultural issue. It is about attitudes surrounding gender, sex and sexuality. It is about respect for other people and their wishes. It is about consent (knowing, clear and voluntary). It is about valuing others, independently of their sex, gender or sexuality. I have no doubt that Kenyon values the safety and well-being of every member of our community. Title IX education is one way to help Kenyon folks identify ways to express those values. Title IX education aims to help us to support one another, to demonstrate our respect and to make educational opportunities equally accessible to everyone.
So the role of Kenyon in Title IX education (or perhaps it is the role of Title IX education at Kenyon) is to help us strengthen and demonstrate those shared values. Kenyon puts its own brand on this education by encouraging and supporting community involvement, critical thinking about Title IX and its specific issues, and work for social change.
DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Stop. Prevent. Remedy. These words sum up the College’s responsibility surrounding issues of gender-based harassment and discrimination. The College must stop known prohibited conduct from occurring, prevent the conduct from re-occurring, and provide a remedy to those persons harmed as a result of the behavior. It is therefore in the best interest of the College to: ensure all constituents can identify prohibited conduct and are aware of on- and off-campus options for reporting such behavior. The most effective way the College can facilitate the ability of the campus community to identify and report prohibited conduct is through ongoing prevention and educational opportunities. Topics of educational offerings should include: how to identify prohibited conduct, consent, impact of alcohol and drugs on the ability to consent, confidential resources, the process to file a complaint, bystander intervention and interim measures available to complainants.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DOMESTIC ABUSE SHELTER NEW DIRECTIONS
On March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment in Queens, New York, and though 38 people watched the attack unfold over half an hour, no one called the police. While recent investigations have revealed the number of witnesses was exaggerated, and that some did try to help, the case gave rise to the term “bystander effect”: the more people who see a person in distress, the less likely it is that any one of them will intervene, because they believe someone else will do so. On college campuses across the country, administrations have campaigns to educate about sexual misconduct and concurrently promote active bystanders, upstanders, and other allies. These efforts, however, are inherently limited insofar as the power to prevent sexual violence lies with the students. And not coincidentally, those who are often most criticized for perpetuating the environment that breeds assault — men, in particular athletes and fraternity members also have an incredible opportunity to be agents for change. Fostering equality and respect for all persons, and recognizing the signs of perpetration and safely responding before an assault occurs: these should be the role of all persons at Kenyon.
CHLOE FARRELL ’16, CHRISTINA FRANZINO ’16 AND JULIET WARREN ’17 SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ADVISORS
Education is the basis on which we can reframe consent in the cultural consciousness. One of the greatest misconceptions of the word “consent” is that it is a burden. In reality, consent is a natural and necessary step to a healthy sexual experience. As SMAs we are constantly working to restructure this negative connotation. In larger society, for example, we teach children not to take what is not theirs; they are expected to ask permission to borrow a toy. This concept should extend to everything, especially sex. We value the importance of starting this lesson at the beginning of the first year at Kenyon, for first-year students can often be overwhelmed by many preconceived notions of campus life. We as SMAs hope that our involvement in this education process will make these topics easier to approach from a student perspective. Students are not expected to memorize Ohio law or the Title IX policy; however, they are asked to become familiar with resources, including SMAs and other confidential individuals on campus. If needed, the SMAs, among other resources at Kenyon, are available to support and assist a claimant or respondent through a difficult experience.
LAURA MESSENGER ’16
HEAD PEER COUNSELOR
The goal behind Title IX is, without question, good. It strives for a safer campus. Kenyon thoroughly educates its students on the resources available to them in the event of a trauma, particularly with regard to who has confidentiality.However, the term mandated reporter, which is a prominent part of Title IX education, can be triggering to survivors, the very people the policy is trying to protect.
For a survivor, coming forward following a case of sexual misconduct is, to put it lightly, not easy. What makes this even harder is hearing that, if you mention the misconduct to someone you trust, like a professor, UCC, or Peer Counselor, they must report it to the Title IX coordinator. Gaining back a sense of control is central to a survivor’s healing process. However well-intentioned mandated reporting is, having your story reported to someone you don’t know can be devastating. This takes away the most basic form of control: who knows your story.
Kenyon has made sure to advertise who is and is not a mandated reporter. But the idea of mandated reporters in itself can be triggering to survivors. In protecting its survivors, Kenyon has room to improve.