University News

Title IX board to issue progress report

Board to solicit information from LGBTQ Center, BCSC and Sarah Doyle Women's Center

News Editor
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Updated Dec. 10 at 9:20 p.m.

The Title IX Oversight Board will focus on reforming orientation programming, drug services related to sexual assault and the complaint process for faculty and staff among other projects in the coming semester, according to a community notification released Wednesday afternoon.

The board, which formed this semester as a result of the Sexual Assault Task Force’s interim report, met four times this semester and will continue meeting regularly in the spring, the email read. It comprises faculty members, staff members and undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

“We decided the most effective way to conduct our charge was to review all the recommendations that were made by the Sexual Assault Task Force with a high level of assessment,” said Michele Cyr, professor of medicine and medical science, and chair of the board.

“Obviously the drug testing was a concern after the Phi Psi case last year,” said Nico Sedivy ’17, a member of the board who uses the pronouns ze, zem and zer. The University has switched over to a new laboratory to process drug tests following last year’s botched hair test by EperTox Inc.

In its evaluations, the board will rely on information collected directly from affected offices, as well as open forums and meetings with groups such as the LGBTQ Center, the Brown Center for Students of Color and the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. 

The more members of the board learned about sexual violence, the more they learned “the extent to which power and privilege (are) involved,” Sedivy said.

“We want to represent everybody, not just the people who are coming forward,” ze said. “We have to go and meet people where they are.”

Other board members will hold open office hours in February. Additionally, the board has created a Facebook page where students, faculty members and staff members can submit feedback, the email read.

“We are trying to establish multiple channels for feedback,” Cyr said. “We learned that directly reaching out is incredibly informative.”

Compiling this information, the board hopes to issue a “comprehensive progress report” to the community by the end of the spring semester — the first of what the board hopes will be triennial reports, according to the email. Through this, the board hopes to increase University accountability and transparency around Title IX issues.

For now, the board must also increase awareness of its presence on campus and better explain its purpose for students, Sedivy said.

“We’re not part of the process. We are supposed to be evaluating the process,” Sedivy added.

In the coming semester, the board will also look at how online training for faculty and staff is implemented, as well as the training for responsible employees

“What I find incredibly encouraging is that so much work is being done to change policy and procedures,” Cyr said.