Jack P. Carroll ’24
Garrett Kirk ’24
General Counsel and Secretary of the College Dickens Mathieu announced Monday afternoon that the College has made significant changes regarding policies on Sexual Harassment and Nondiscrimination. The College has altered the label of the Sexual Harassment policy from “interim” to “official,” as well as making adjustments to the College’s policies.
Mathieu corresponded with the Tripod by email, saying that “[t]hese changes are part of the college’s commitment to continually review key policies and modify them, as necessary, for the benefit of our community.”
In terms of the new procedure for sexual improprieties, Mathieu said in his original email that “the new policy has been reorganized, to improve the sequence of information; supplemented, to clarify the roles, duties, and responsibilities of those responsible for enforcing the policy; and augmented, to provide additional step-by-step explanations and guidance concerning the procedures for reporting, assessing, investigating, and adjudicating allegations of sexual harassment.”
Complainants and respondents will no longer acquire multiple incident reports, there will instead only be one document, the information of which will still be contestable throughout the hearing process.
Secondly, impact and mitigation statements will be collected before a particular hearing rather than after a case has been ruled on. When administering punishment to a respondent that is found responsible, the email added, the Title IX coordinator will prove this information to an Administrative Panel.
When asked about the difference in sanctions highlighted in the email relative to non-discrimination, Mathieu told the Tripod that “[s]anctions may differ, depending on whether the Respondent is a student, faculty employee, or staff employee.”
In addition to shifting the guidance from “interim” to “official,” the College also brought in an outside firm for temporary “administrative support” for the new policies.
Mathieu indicated that “[f]or the next three to six months, the two policies…will be supported by external consultants from the firm Core Triangle. These individuals will serve in interim positions, while the college engages in searches for staff employees who will perform these functions permanently.”
The positions filled by Core Triangle are that of “Interim Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Compliance” and “Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator.”
Mathieu told the Tripod Monday that “[f]rom the numerous firms that submitted proposals, the college selected Core Triangle, because Core Triangle’s presentation inspired confidence that the firm will provide exceptional service to the college.”
Mathieu further indicated to the Tripod that “[t]he Interim AVP for DEI and Compliance will report to the General Counsel. The Interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator will report to the Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment. When occupied by permanent employees, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators will report to the Title IX Coordinator; the Title IX Coordinators will report to the AVP for DEI and Compliance; and the AVP for DEI and Compliance will report to the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
The Tripod previously reported on the College’s commitment to hire permanent officials for these positions. President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney promised hires by the end of the fall semester, a position that was confirmed again to the Tripod in September. As of November, the positions remained unfilled. Mathieu referred the Tripod to a statement by Berger-Sweeney released on Jan. 28 updating the community on the College’s continued work to end sexual harassment and discrimination on-campus.
Jayme Bianca ’21 was part of this committee that prepared the interim policy. Bianca told the Tripod Monday that to her knowledge she was “unsure why the policy is being adopted permanently. We [the College] were originally required to adhere to Trump-Devos era regulations, although we had some leeway.”