The campus climate report reflects real dangers facing students
Kaylee Liu, News Editor
On Thursday, Nov. 3, the October 2022 campus climate report published by the Title IX Office was released. The campus climate report is a monthly report recording the number of student incidents involving sexual misconduct, bias, alcohol and drug incidents and other violations of the campus Community Care Agreement. In the last month, there was one report of sexual assault, two reports of sexual harassment, one report of non-consensual sexual contact and one report of stalking, which fall under the umbrella of sexual misconduct. There were also three alcohol incidents, four drug incidents and seven bias reports.
At the end of last semester, Lori Makin-Byrd, the previous Title IX Coordinator left the College. The position is currently being filled by an interim coordinator, Joe Hall. Other members of the Title IX team include Emily Hiner, the Director of Prevention and Advocacy and Jeff Scott, Civil Rights and Title IX Investigator. The College is still in the process of searching for a permanent replacement.
New Title IX regulations were proposed in June this year, and are expected to be finalised by the Department of Education by this winter. Changes include expanding coverage to incidents that occur at off-campus educational events, expanding mandatory reporting requirements, creating new eligibility for retroactive complaints after a student has left the educational institution, requiring shorter time frames between a report and investigation for discrimination cases, elimination for cross-examinations and live hearing requirements for campus hearings, allowing students to participate remotely in hearings, allowing for informal resolutions of incidents without a formal complaint submission and required protections for pregnant people. The changes of the discrimination and informal resolution regulations are of particular note, as the Trump administration required discrimination to be documented on campus, and required the submission s of formal complaints.
This graph depicts the number of non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual misconduct, drug and bias incidents over the last three academic years. Sexual misconduct encompasses sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence and indecent exposure. This includes incidents that occur on-campus, off-campus during college programs like internships or trips organised by the College and off-campus. Off-campus is defined as an incident occurring on property not controlled by the College but that creates adverse effects for a member of the College community. It is important to note that the drop observed during the 2020 to 2021 academic year can be at least partly attributed to the pandemic that resulted in many students learning remotely and on-campus students having little opportunity to interact with each other.
All students have the right to report an incident to both security and law enforcement, and to receive assistance from College staff in doing so. Felonies reported to the Title IX office or to the College must be reported to the local police department, but students may decline to participate in the official police investigation. Students may also seek orders of protection, no-contact orders, restraining orders and similar orders of protection from the courts. The College can help with requesting such orders and enforcing those orders on campus. Allegations will also be investigated by the College and may be resolved internally. For more information on Title IX regulations, inside.wooster.edu/title-ix has comprehensive information on regulations and student rights.