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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Giles Strives to Implement White House’s Sexual Assault Initiative

<ve all been hearing about the many liberal arts schools that have been put on probation for the sexual misconduct violations in the last few years. In response to these violations the White House has put out an initiative called “It’s on Us” in order to help campuses deal with this ongoing problem and hopefully reduce the number of misconduct cases on college campuses. Student body president Becca Giles ’15 heard about this program and then participated in many conference calls over the summer in order to bring this campaign
to our campus.

The goal of this program is to focus on change from the ground up, and in particular getting not just those who have been a victim to speak out but also having people advocate for change in how sexual experiences
are thought of in general. A large gender component exists within the campaign as well. Statistically speaking
males commit 99 percent of reported assault cases worldwide and so the goal is to get more male students involved in the avocation for change.

Giles said “that Carleton is already a pretty good model.” She believes that the community board of sexual misconduct at Carleton does what it should to hear misconduct cases in a nonthreatening setting for the
victim, and that New Student Week programs promote a general atmosphere of safety.

However, things at Carleton were not always this way. Four women in 1991 actually sued Carleton for mishandling allegations of rape on campus. In response to this suit Carleton’s policies were drastically changed. Carleton’s president at the time, Stephen R. Lewis Jr., defended the college’s policies. “We were one of the first colleges in the country that had a policy that dealt with sexual harassment and sexual assault,”
he said. “We’ve modified as the state of the art has changed.”

And the college has continued to change its policy, as it has seemed necessary. The goal this term is to use the resources provided by the “It’s on Us” initiative to form new ways to intervene and create more student
allies. Giles insists that this is something that the college can always improve on. “People who are discontent are the perfect ones to push for change.” The “It’s On Us” campaign represents an opportunity for those
who are discontent with Carleton’s policy to speak out and provides another resource to help students deal with sexual misconduct.

The GSC is planning on doing a promotional video of “It’s on Us” in order to peak students interest in the subject, and CSA is creating a task force in order to further this initiative on campus. As of right now this is entirely student run but as awareness grows hopefully a broader impact will be had.

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