Minutes of 2/5/15 Meeting

February 5, 2015

I. Call to order
Ruth Jones called to order the meeting of the Campus Committee on Sexual Responsibility & Misconduct (CCSRM) at 11:03 a.m. on February 5, 2015 in Johnson 314.

II. Members Attending
The following persons were present:
Maureen McRae Goldberg, Karla Aguilar, Veronika Barsegyan, Sara Semal, Movindri Reddy, Amy Fluet, Ruth Jones, Scott Bogue, Richard Mora, Brian Erickson, Jordan Brown.

III. Title IX Office Updates

A. New Email Address
Email address has been set up for CCSRM Committee: CCSRM@oxy.edu. Jordan granted all Committee members access to this email account. Jordan will receive a notification every time someone emails ccsrm@oxy.edu and she will distribute the information accordingly to CCSRM members. The purpose of this new email account is for the committee to be transparent with the Oxy community and easily allow Oxy community members to get into contact with the committee with any questions, concerns, ideas, or input.

B. Focus Group for Online Prevention Education
This meeting will be held with any interested Oxy students and is scheduled for Thursday, February 26 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in Swan Dumke Commons.

IV. Education and Prevention Subcommittee Update

Subcommittee Members are: Brian Erickson, Amy Fluett, Richard Mora, Karla Aguilar, and Movindri Reddy.

This subcommittee will focus on efforts with student education and prevention, but will also aim to involve the Oxy community. This subcommittee will work to identify how we can best communicate with students that on-going education and prevention is important. All students may not take the mandatory yearly online training seriously, so the question remains: how can we improve this educational effort?

A Google Drive has been created by member Karla Aguilar regarding Project SAFE and additional efforts related to current educational and prevention measures on campus. KA will be uploading this to the CCSRM Google Drive so that all CCSRM members have access.

V. Website Updates

Our goal is to create a CCSRM page on the Title IX Webpage where we can easily share our weekly agenda, meeting times, and meeting minutes.

A. Review and Opinions of Title IX Complaint Process Flow Chart

Opinions of the committee members varied on the benefits and downfalls of utilizing a flow chart to briefly explain the Title IX complaint resolution process. On one hand, flow charts may seem overwhelming and an "information overload" to some students who want only small pieces of information to process at a time. On the other hand, flow charts can be helpful in the sense that they explain the big picture so individuals can see how their choices can guide the complaint resolution process in a direction of their choice. 

It was agreed that top of the flow chart should include a list of the confidential resources (with email addresses) as well as mention the option to speak with a responsible employee on campus. Including this at the beginning will give students the option to speak with someone confidentially, or if they would rather disclose the information to a person on campus of their choice (advisor, faculty member, etc.) and understand that this employee is then required to reach out to the Title IX Coordinator.

Suggested design edits: use ovals instead of boxes as they are "softer"; use soft grey or blue fonts instead of black font. This will help the image appear less harsh. Another idea of a CCSRM member was to have the flow chart scroll from Left-Right instead of Up-Down, as scrolling down could potentially have a negative effect on a student who is experiencing trauma.

Newly designed flow chart should ideally be uploaded to website by February 16, 2015 – the opening of the online Campus Climate Sexual Assault Survey that will be administered to continuing students at Oxy.

B. Implementing an "Emergency Exit Button"

An idea of a CCSRM member was to include an "Emergency Exit" button on the Title IX Webpage. The purpose of this would be to give students the opportunity to easily exit out of Title IX Webpage at any time and be directed to the Oxy Home page. This could help students feel more comfortable visiting the Title IX Webpage if they are in a shared public space and want to be able to leave the webpage at any moment.

VI. Dating and Domestic Violence Provision

Committee members reviewed the current policy and the policy revision idea per the Clery Act definition of dating violence.

A. Reactions from members regarding the policy revision:
Because the provision begins with the text, "Physical abuse committed by a person…" one committee member brought up the point that this may come across a bit harsh to the individual reading it, and also mentioned that dating violence does not include solely physical violence. Because of this, an example of the edited revision could read: "Dating violence can include many different types of unhealthy relationships. This could include emotional, mental, physical types of abuse..." We can work with this and frame with elements’ that would be applicable to the potential violation of such policy in disciplinary hearings. It may also be wise to include a statement such as: "It may involve one act or ongoing behavior."

The discussion included the point that clarity in a policy is the most important element when an adjudicator is evaluating evidence in a disciplinary hearing. With each new policy provision the adjudicator will determine: is there sufficient evidence as to whether this provision has been violated? It is important to understand that the Sexual Misconduct Policy is a disciplinary function of the written standards expected of students, and if a student violates part(s) of the policy, disciplinary actions will be taken by Oxy.

B. Should there be a policy provision exclusively for emotional abuse?

The main discussion surrounding this question was whether or not we can and/or should punish for emotional abuse, and/or work to provide more resources for students involved in cases of emotional abuse. If it is included in our policy, what will be the parameters?

Varying views: Committee members discussed that emotional abuse can be somewhat of a fuzzy and subjective topic, and one can vary in views on this topic due to their personal history, view, beliefs, etc. It was also mentioned that if Oxy does not include an emotional abuse policy revision, it may portray that these cases are not taken as seriously as physical abuse cases and it may undermine an individual’s traumatic experience.

Because emotional abuse cases are not Clery reportable, Title IX and Clery team will need to ensure that these cases are removed from the Clery numbers.

C. Discussion to Be Continued

Title IX Coordinator RJ will research whether other institutions include emotional violence as part of their Sexual Misconduct Policies.

VII. Introduction of Retaliation Provision

In the last few minutes of the meeting, Title IX Coordinator RJ introduced this topic. It was agreed that the current policy is not sufficiently clear and that it brings up some confusion about what retaliation includes. A CCSRM member asked, "What are the ‘many forms’ mentioned in the policy?" An agreed-upon idea was to possibly include more examples after the provision that college age students can relate to.

VIII. Next Meeting Topics to be Discussed

A. Further discussion surrounding retaliation provision
B. Begin discussion on Title IX Complaint resolution process. Multiple documents that are distributed to students involved in Title IX complaints have been posted to the CCSRM Google Site. Committee homework is to review these four documents before the next meeting on Thursday, February 12, 2015.

IX. Adjournment

Ruth Jones adjourned the meeting at 12 noon.