Preventing Sexual Assault
March 17, 2014
To the Members of the Clark Community:
President Barack Obama recently issued a call to action challenging colleges and universities to eliminate sexual assaults on their campuses. Prompted by the sobering number of such assaults chronicled in a newly released federal report, President Obama has created a task force of senior officials to recommend best practices for prevention, response and reporting, and to make certain that institutions of higher learning comply with the law.
Clark University welcomes the President's voice on this matter. We use this occasion to reaffirm Clark's ongoing commitment to ensure that all of our students are safe and aware, and we accept his challenge to do more. Our community is built on compassion, trust, decency and respect for one another, and together we must work to eliminate actions and behaviors that threaten the compact this institution has with its students and that diminish our connections with each other as human beings.
Here at Clark, we place a high priority on prevention of sexual assault — whether that means reducing the risk of sexual misconduct involving alcohol, or training students and employees to recognize instances of inappropriate behavior. Among the resources and policies we have in place regarding prevention and response are:
- Clark Anti-Violence Education Program (CAVE) was begun in 2009 with the singular goal of reducing dating violence and sexual assault through education. CAVE program instructors, led by Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., research professor of psychology, and Kathleen M. Palm Reed, Ph.D., associate director of clinical training and research professor of psychology, deliver the "Bringing in the Bystander" program to incoming students during their first week on campus. This program takes a community perspective in preventing sexual assault on our campus by empowering students to intervene safely and effectively before, during or after an incident of dating violence or sexual assault that they may witness. Students learn to identify what sexual assault is and are provided with resources to find additional information, get help, report the incident or seek counseling.
- Clark's Sexual Violence Policy explains in clear, unambiguous language the terminology of sexual assault, harassment, misconduct and exploitation, and it also defines in detail what constitutes consent. The policy outlines the steps for reporting an incident and offers detailed information about reporting and confidentiality. Commonly asked questions surrounding such topics as lodging a complaint, the role of drugs and alcohol, and counseling and medical care are also answered.
- Clark adheres to the tenets of Title IX, the federal law that legally obligates the reporting of sexual misconduct and the implementation of grievance procedures for complaints against faculty, staff and third parties, as well as students. We strongly encourage anyone who believes he or she has been the victim of an assault to contact our Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator Jacqueline Capomacchio or one of the deputies on our Title IX Committee: Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Denise Darrigrand, Provost Davis Baird, Business Manager Paul Wykes, University Police Sergeant Lauren Misale or Interim Director of Athletics Trish Cronin.
We continue to refine our policies and procedures to meet federal standards for accountability, transparency and education.
I ask each of you as part of the Clark family to work with me to ensure that sexual assault is treated as an encroachment on our collective values and that we all do our part to respond to this national challenge.