A Letter to the Campus Community
The Audit and Assessment of Title IX Policies, Procedures and Practices report from Pepper Hamilton, LLC
To the Occidental Community:
I write to deliver the report by Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez of Pepper Hamilton that was commissioned to review our response to allegations of sexual misconduct at Occidental. I asked Smith and Gomez to provide an honest assessment of our processes, policies and procedures and to review a representative sample of cases from prior years. Read their cover letter and download the full report here.
As you may recall, Smith and Gomez provided initial recommendations, including such measures as the hiring of a full-time Title IX coordinator and a survivor advocate. They made several visits to Occidental and reached out to the campus community to solicit feedback on the current climate on campus, as well as our practices and procedures in response to allegations of sexual violence. They prepared an interim sexual misconduct policy that was adopted at the start of the 2013-14 academic year and conducted a number of trainings for community members. I hope that you will take the time to read the report in its entirety.
This report represents another step in our continuing work to enhance our response to sexual misconduct, ensure that students get the care and support they need, craft policies and procedures that reflect best practices, ensure complaints are reported accurately, and expand and enrich preventative education programs. Although we started making important changes long before receiving the report, there is more work to do and this report will inform our efforts as we move ahead as a community.
October 28, 2014
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