Minutes of the 4/23/15 Meeting

I. Call to order

Ruth Jones called to order the meeting of the Campus Committee on Sexual Responsibility & Misconduct (CCSRM) at 11 a.m. on April 23, 2015 in Hameetman 225.

II. Members Attending

The following persons were present:
Richard Mora, Brian Erickson, Amy Fluett, Veronika Barsegyan, Olivia Sabins, Karla Aguilar, Sara Semal, Ruth Jones.

III. Title IX Office Update

Survey Results Town Hall scheduled for 4/28 from 12 noon-1 p.m. in Choi Auditorium.

Additional meetings scheduled:
Wednesday, April 29 - 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Discussion of USC’s Investigative Model with Investigator Kegan Allee
Thursday, April 30 - 11 a.m.-12 noon: Discussion on consent
Thursday, May 14 - 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Discussion on policy/procedure revisions; Recommendations from the Prevention & Education subcommittee

A new reporting system is currently in the works. The Title IX Office will share a report on aggregate complaints at the end of each semester. This report will contain the complaint, the resolution, and sanction that was imposed. An aggregate report will both respect individuals rights and privacy, yet will also increase transparency and show the community what occurs in the Title IX Office.
The Title IX Office preliminary yearly report is in progress. This will be an opportunity for the Title IX Office to show the community the work that has been done this past year.

IV. Discussion on Responsible Employee Policy

Committee members were asked to review the 2013-2014 SMAB report section on Responsible Employees, Title IX Coordinators response, and the relevant section of the OCR FAQ document before attending the meeting.
It was brought up in the meeting that the policy needs to very clearly state who are responsible employees on campus (staff, faculty, administrators, etc.) so that both employees on campus and students understand reporting responsibilities and requirements.
Additional education needs to be implemented to ensure that responsible employees understand their responsibilities (especially faculty members) and how to handle sensitive conversations with students (i.e. at what point in the conversation to mention "I am a responsible employee," how to be empathetic with students who disclose sensitive information, types of language to use and avoid, etc.). Further education and training opportunities could be led by the Wellness Center staff – either by recorded video training or in-person training.
There is a faculty retreat each year in January organized by the Dean and President of the Faculty, and this may be a good time to present on the requirements being a responsible employee – or at least be a refresher for the individuals are there. This training could be led by Project SAFE or the Wellness Center staff. The Title IX Coordinator/Office could also be present at the training.
It was brought up in the committee meeting that the Responsible Employee policy should also include verbiage relating to classroom assignments and what type of content needs to be reported to the Title IX Office. If a student discloses that they are a survivor either by writing or other form of expression in a course assignment, the instructor would ideally understand how to appropriately handle this type of situation. Instead of reporting these instances to the Title IX Office, faculty could potentially let the survivor know that there are resources available to them at Oxy to help them process their experiences, if needed.
It was also discussed that since Resident Advisors (RA’s) are responsible employees as well, they may need the same additional training that is being proposed for faculty members. This training could focus more on real-life scenarios and less on policy issues, aimed to help them feel better equipped to respond to individual student’s situations regarding trauma they have experienced regarding sexual misconduct. This training would help ensure that RA’s feel they have the right skillset needed to help their residents process their experiences, as well as understand their reporting responsibilities to the Title IX Office and which on and off campus resources to share with survivors.

IV. Other Topics Addressed in Meeting

A way to better connect with students on campus (in regards to Title IX related events and activities) could be to establish relationships with student organizations on campus who can help facilitate a stronger relationship and sense of trust between Oxy students and the Title IX Office. By partnering with student organizations on campus, the Title IX Office could potentially reach more students, increasing the understanding of the purpose of the Title IX Office and the work we are doing on a daily basis. It was also brought up that a way of doing this would be to create a student committee, from various student organizations on campus, that would be interested in helping with Title IX related activities and events.

This summer we will begin to think of additional staff members on campus that we can identify as confidential resources for students – both complainants and respondents. We also want to work on creating a culturally diverse pool of confidential resources, and that all confidential resources understand how to exercise cultural sensitivity when speaking with students from diverse backgrounds. Committee members agreed that expanding the confidential resource pool would be a wise idea.