AMEMORANDUM ADDRESSING TITLE IX SEXUAL ASSAULT EDUCATIONAND TRAINING BrendanW. Clark ’21TrinityCollege Public Policy & Law Department 245-01: Title IX: Changing CampusCulture11December 2017MEMORANDUMTO: Timothy Dunn, Title IX Coordinator; Laura R.
Lockwood,Director, Women and Gender Resource Action CenterFROM: Brendan W. Clark ’21, Sexual Assault Education Committee,Trinity CollegeSUBJECT: Title IX Sexual Assault Education and Training RecommendationsDATE: 11 December 2017ExecutiveSummaryRegarding the matter of sexual assaultat Trinity College and other liberal arts institutions nationwide, theimperative need to provide preventative educational programs is unquestioned.Furthermore, Trinity College has—through a myriad of programs and publishedcorrespondence—hitherto clearly asserted its position of preemptivelyaddressing sexual assault on campus.
However, these actions notwithstanding,there is always an opportunity for supplemental programming and revised methodsthat can serve to ameliorate the continued preponderance of sexual assault atTrinity. Ergo, this memorandum is a rejoinder of requests by this Committeethat student representatives generate missives conveying their conclusions onthe aforementioned question. I. SexualAssault and Title IX GuidanceSexual assault became enjoined to TitleIX of the United States Educational Amendments of 19721 in 2011 under the ObamaAdministration. Hereafter, the Department of Education’s Office for CivilRights issued its “2011 Dear Colleague Letter,”2 whichprescribed the obligations that institutions of higher education are underapropos investigation and resolving sexual assault claims.
The ObamaAdministration further sought to explicate and redress these concerns throughthe establishment of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from SexualAssault,3 hereinafterreferred to as the “Task Force” in 2014, a working group delegated theresponsibility of evaluating the extent of sexual assault in both secondary andhigher education. This task force was largely a corollary of the publication ofRape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Callto Action, an unprecedented document which revealed that “nearly 1 in 5women has been raped in her lifetime” and that “98% of female and 93% of male rapesurvivors report that their assailants were male.”4With these affirmations at the federal level, the Obama Administration had theimpetus to pursue the creation of a myriad of academic programs targeted atprevention-based education with respect to sexual assault.TheTask Force produced a comprehensive educational program for secondary schoolsunder the appellation of a “Safe Place to Learn,” which served as a curriculum thatessayed to “create a school community committed to preventing discriminationbased on sex and its most extreme corollary, sexual violence.”5 However, the ObamaAdministration beget no commensurate program developed by the Task Force forhigher education institutions; rather, the attention paid to higher educationwas largely codified within the 2011 Guidance Letter6 and the subsequent 2014 Questionsand Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.7 Further, within this plethoraof guidance were explicit instructions regarding education that institutionsare obligated to proffer to both students and faculty, namely: providing “trainingto all employees likely to witness or receive reports of sexual violence”8 and considering “educationalmethods that are most likely to help students retain information when designingits training.”9The Department’s counsel notwithstanding, the lack of a substantive frameworkhas required institutions to identify and retain the programs of private entitiesin order to efficaciously satisfy their obligations under Title IX.
II. The Importance of Preventative Sexual Assault ProgrammingEducation has beenrecognized as necessary towards preventing the inimical continuity of sexualassault; moreover, early preventative education has clearly impacted not onlyincreased reporting rates but also evinces reduced rates of sexual assault.10 Indeed, the ObamaAdministration concluded that “ongoing prevention, education, and trainingprograms for students—from freshman orientation through graduate school—are criticalfor imparting skills to students.”11 Further, academic researchavers that an “increasing awareness of the school policies and reportingregulations have helped to increase reporting,” elucidating that the need forsound educational practice has a tangible impact regarding the reduction ofsexual assault on college campuses.12 In addition, researchsuggests that the type of program, namely one which emphasizes bystander interventionand the deleterious effects of alcohol, are the most efficacious in reducingincidents of assault.13 Moreover, the rates of sexualassault reporting oftentimes reveal a corollary with educational programming atinstitutions of higher education issued concurrently with a myriad of otherprograms.
Indeed, DeGue contends that educational efforts “complement and workin tandem with other important work focused on risk reduction, criminal justice,recidivism prevention, and victim services.”14 Further, continued preventativeeducation issued with great frequency has been shown to drastically reduce the occurrenceof sexual assault on college campuses, with some estimations by the Departmentof Justice estimating that many programs “reported significant desired changesin attitudes concerning dating aggression, knowledge of myths about abuse ofwomen, and behavioral intentions in hypothetical conflict situations.”15 Clearly, so climactericis preventative education for sexual assault that it has been promoted bothwithin academia and also within government agencies.
III. Sexual Assault Education Programs at Trinity CollegeAt Trinity College,considerable resources have been appropriated for the purpose of mitigating incidencesof sexual assault. One of Trinity’s foundational programs is the film “NotAnymore,” a program of Student Success, which has dedicated itself to “providingviolence prevention programming” to institutions of higher education.16 Not Anymore at Trinity ispresented to first-year students, who must view a video and engage with severaleducational modules during the summer; moreover, failure to complete theprogram results in the curtailment of academic enrollment privileges.17 Thereafter, first-yearstudents are again imbibed with information relating to sexual assault in theirmandatory attendance at the “Speak About It” dramatic presentation duringfirst-year orientation.
18 Together, these programsmake up the education that first-year students receive over the course of theirarrival at Trinity. Further,education does take place, albeit in lesser amounts, at higher grade levelsprincipally through voluntary involvement in various campus organizations andcommunities. In their sophomore year, students receive mandatory bystanderintervention training from the Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC).Further, students who seek membership in a Greek social life organizations andthose who are members of Trinity-sanctioned sports teams are also required to attendtrainings from WGRAC. The aforementioned programs are also offered to anyorganization or entity affiliated with the college that requests training.19 Moreover, WGRAC proffers amyriad of programs whose intent is to inculcate proper education for students,specifically: Take Back the Night, the Vagina Monologues, and Voices Raised inPower.
Each of these programs represents further opportunities for educationaloutreach to students and are also largely student-driven educationalinitiatives; however, they are not compulsory and, therefore, their message maynot always carry appreciable efficacy. WhereasTrinity College has clearly continued to make efforts in recent years toaddress the pervasiveness of sexual assault on campus, the issue remains anendemic one due largely to a lack of financial resources and programming at recurrentintervals. Indeed, without mandatory educational programming per annum, there isa marked increase in the likelihood that invaluable information will not beretained by students, ergo, increasing program frequency is imperative.20 Furthermore, without the dedicationof requisite financial resources, the effectuation of new programs will remainan impossibility, thereby further restricting educational initiatives.1 20 U.S.C.
§§1681-1688; 34 C.F.R. pt. 106. 2 Russlynn H. Ali, “Dear Colleague” Letter, U.
S. Departmentof Education, April 4, 2011, (hereinafter “2011 Letter”). 3 Memorandum from theOffice of President Barrack H. Obama (January 22, 2014) (on file with theOffice of the Press Secretary). 4 The White HouseCouncil on Women and Girls, Executive Office of the Vice President, Rape andSexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action (January 2014).5 U.
S. Department ofEducation, Office of the Secretary, “Safe Place to Learn” Implementation Guide(2016). 6 Ibid., 1. 7 Catherine E.
Lhamon,Questions and Answers on Title IX andSexual Violence Letter, U.S. Department of Education, April 29, 2014,(hereinafter “2014 Letter”).8 Lhamon, Questions and Answers, 38.
9 Lhamon, Questionsand Answers, 41. 10 Tovia Smith, “To Prevent Sexual Assault, Schools andParents Start Lessons Early,” NationalPublic Radio, August 6, 2016 (transcript of radio broadcast). 11 White House Task Force to Protect Students from SexualAssault, Executive Office of the President, Preventing and Addressing CampusSexual Misconduct: A Guide for University and College Presidents, Chancellors,and Senior Administrators (January 2017). 12 P.P. McMahon, “Sexual Violence on the College Campuses: A Template for Compliance with Federal Policy,” Journal of American College Health 57, no. 3 (2008): 361-365.13 Nicole Westmarland S.
Alderson, “The Health, Mental-Health, and Well-Being Benefits ofRape Crisis Counseling,” Journal ofInterpersonal Violence, 28, (2013): 3265-3282. 14 The Centers for Disease Control, Division of ViolencePrevention, Preventing Sexual Violence on College Campuses: Lessons from Researchand Practice (April 2014). 15 Christine Wekerle and David A. Wolfe, “DatingViolence in Mid-Adolescence: Theory, Significance, and Emerging PreventionInitiatives, Clinical Psychology Review, 19(4) (1999): 435-456 quoted in Jennifer Hardison et al., An Evidence-Based Review of Sexual Assault Preventative InterventionPrograms (Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, September 2004).
16 “Company,” Student Success, last modified 2016, https://title9.studentsuccess.org/company/.
17 “Not Anymore: Sexual Assault Education andPrevention,” Trinity College, http://www.trincoll.edu/StudentLife/NewStudents/Pages/NotAnymore.aspx.18 “About,” Speak AboutIt, last modified 2016, http://speakaboutitonline.com/about/. 19 Adrienne Fulco andLaura R. Lockwood, “Title IX: Changing Campus Culture” (lecture, TrinityCollege, Hartford, CT, December 7, 2017).
20 McMahon, “SexualViolence on College Campuses,” 362.