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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Panel suggests changes to Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process

<ents filled the Great Hall on Monday evening to discuss the College's Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process for a town hall meeting on suggestions and proposals to change the current complaint process.

Sponsored by the Community, Equity and Diversity Initiative (CEDI), CSA and the College Council Task Force to Review the Student Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process, the town hall meeting highlighted the College Council Task Force’s fall term findings regarding the current sexual misconduct policy.

The student members of the Task Force, Heather Campbell ’10, Mike Stevens ’10 and Julia Walther ’10, led the town hall meeting in addition to Associate Dean of Students and Task Force Chair Julie Thornton. The team suggested nine main changes to the policy, which they created after reviewing over 30 policies of other colleges.

These revisions included increasing the accessibility and clarity of the process and making it overall more supportive, comprehensive and healing. The Task Force also had more specific changes, such as creating a list of rights and responsibilities of respondents and complainants and publishing an FAQ list about the process and a timeline of how typical cases may progress.

Additionally, the Task Force suggested modifying the role of College Consultant (the role currently occupied by attorney Joanne Mullen) in the process, hiring investigators not affiliated with the college to handle cases and reconsidering the role of the Dean of Students as an adjudicator in the sexual misconduct process.

The team also advocated providing more support for respondents and complainants, publishing a “what to expect” guide for students about the process and creating a list of possible sanctions and outcomes from issuing a sexual misconduct complaint. Other suggestions were to implement comprehensive training for Sexual Misconduct Review Board (SMRB) members and to remove the legal language and legal feel from the policy and the process

After the presentation by Campbell, Stevens and Walther, students were encouraged to discuss their own views on the policy and the suggestions offered by the Task Force. Each table included a CSA representative who took notes on the group’s discussion for the Task Force to use in later compiling a report for the College Council, which will take place in March. After that, real change and revision of the current policy will begin.

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