BC is now required to incorporate “acts of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking” in their annual crime reports as well as increase the transparency, accountability and education. These requirements come from the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act provision of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Currently, the campus includes forcible and non-forcible counts of sexual assault in addition to various crimes.
Recently, there has been an account of sexual assault or rape on campus, resulting in the suspension of one of three parties directly involved. A student described the investigative process to be slow, convoluted, insufficient and lacking procedure. Beyond this, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking is perceived to occur on campus by students. According to the United States Department of Justice, between 20 percent and 25 percent of women will be raped or have rape attempted during their time in college and more than 50 percent will remain silent of the act.
Of the students interviewed, there was significant skepticism as to whether or not releasing more data would truly improve the situation but are not opposed to the idea. Valery Bordina, international BC student, says that “some people do not know if it is sexual harassment or not,” identifying a lack of knowledge on various levels to be a key component in countering such acts. Chanelle Leverett, BC student, says that “The moment that [you are victimized], you become a statistic. … You can put as many statistics out there as you want to [but that doesn’t change anything] … That’s some sad information, but what [is BC] going to do about it?
The SaVE Act also “clarifies minimum standards for institutional disciplinary procedures.” “Proceedings shall provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution and are conducted by officials receiving annual training on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; both parties may have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding and any related meeting, including an advisor of their choice; [and] both parties will receive written outcomes of all disciplinary proceedings at the same time.” Additionally, the act will require BC to provide programming for student and employees including ongoing “primary prevention and awareness programs,” “safe and positive options for bystander intervention” and “information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior.”
Aaron Hilliard, vice president of human resources, was unwilling to comment on the implementation of the provisions or BC’s role in the matter.
A “Title IX Investigation Training (Civil Rights) Workshop” will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, March 12 – 13 in D106. Scott Lewis of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management Group, LLC will present “how to structure an appropriate civil rights investigation model from a process perspective, conduct investigations, and reach appropriate findings.” There are a limited amount of slots, so those who are interested contact the Office of Equity and Pluralism at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The equity and pluralism department is creating a position that will exclusively oversee Title IX issues. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The principle objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sexually discriminatory practices in education programs such as sexual harassment and employment discrimination, and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices.” This role is currently upheld by the Vice President of HR, Aaron Hilliard. Hilliard and Yoshiko Harden of the Office of Equity and Pluralism were not available to comment further on the position.