On Tuesday, June 3, Fordham will host a daylong event about how schools and colleges can deal effectively with sexual misconduct on campus, a problem that has recently drawn intense media coverage as well as increased scrutiny from the federal government.
Open to Fordham employees as well as staff and administrators from outside schools and colleges, the Sexual Misconduct Policy Institute will address response protocols, disciplinary procedures, prevention education, and policy fundamentals including criminal and civil laws, among many other subtopics.
The event will include discussions and case studies. The lead facilitator will be Katie Koestner, a renowned student safety and wellness expert who was the first date-rape survivor to speak out nationally about the problem.
“Security, counseling, legal, and student affairs professionals at colleges—as well as high school administrators—are more and more focused on addressing what recent media attention has made clear is a serious national issue,” said Christopher Rodgers, assistant vice president and dean of students at Rose Hill. “Given the rapid changes in law and regulation in this area in recent weeks, this event comes at just the right time to help our colleagues sort through this complicated field.”
Topics will include reporting requirements, standards of proof, technology-related sexual misconduct, and the responsibilities of school administrators, attorneys, parents, and others.
The event will take place in Pope Auditorium at the Lincoln Center campus. Fordham is co-hosting the event with the Policy Institute, a national initiative of Campus Outreach Services.
Outside schools and colleges can send one person for free, and there are different-level fees for additional persons.
Fordham employees’ attendance is being coordinated internally; Rodgers has asked various department heads to provide names of attendees, with a May 9 cutoff for signing up.
“Our mission to care for students calls us to constant vigilance in this area, and we are fortunate to be working with a partner like the Policy Institute to provide this resource,” Rodgers said.
The Obama administration has been paying more attention to this issue in recent weeks. First, it issued new guidelines for how colleges and universities should respond to sexual violence and sex discrimination under federal law, and then released a list of 55 schools that are being investigated for possible violations in their handling of complaints. (Fordham was not listed.)
-- Chris Gosier