In the past two sessions of the Goucher College Student Assembly, the group discussed the Sexual Misconduct Policy workgroup’s proposed changes to the policy and talked about changing the course add/drop deadline.
Two representatives from the sexual misconduct policy workgroup, joined by Roshelle Kades, the health and wellness coordinator, presented their proposed changes at the Nov. 17 meeting. The most notable changes are the revamping of the complaint process and the creation of new sentencing guidelines when students are found guilty of certain violations. The workgroup also added two sections to the policy: dating violence and stalking.
The workgroup explained that the policy’s process for complaints has been redesigned to include a process of appeal. The process of recording will be near-identical to the previous policy. As before, two investigators will be assigned to each complaint; however, the investigators’ report on the case, and their recommended sanctions if applicable, will now be sent to a designated administrator, currently Assistant Dean of Students Andrew Wu. Wu will handle final decisions after meeting with students. If either party chooses to appeal the decision, the case will appear before a three-person panel roughly applicable to the current final decision-making panel. The entire process will take no longer than sixty days.
The new policy will also have specific sanctions for certain policy violations. Students who are found guilty of sexual assault, with or without intercourse, will now have the minimum sanction of suspension for two semesters. A third category of sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact (which covers sexual touching), will have the minimum sanction of suspension for one semester. Other violations have a range of sanctions, from expulsion to the very minimum sanction of a letter of warning on the student’s file, educational training, appropriate counseling, or community service.
The presenters noted that all students should fill out the survey assessing students’ feelings on the proposed changes. The workgroup is also holding a town hall meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. in the Heubeck Multipurpose Room.
The Assembly also voted for the add/drop committee, Taryn Decker ‘15 and Molly Greenberg ‘16, to officially propose a change to the add/drop policy to Registrar Andrew Westfall. The proposal will extend the add/drop period from 5 p.m. on the first Friday of the semester to 11:59 p.m. that Sunday.
In addition, the Constitutional Committee, which meets Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Van Meter 102, discussed the strengths of other institutions’ constitutions, as well as SGA’s former constitution. The Communication Committee, which meets Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Geen Room, is compiling a list of individuals to speak to in order to complete its goal of clear communication with the Goucher community members. Additionally, the Committee for placing students on administrative committees is still working on a list of the administrative committees and the students on those committees.