Notice from SSASS
To Members of the Reed Community,
Over the past week, the Students for Sexual Assault Support Services (SSASS) have circulated a petition calling for specific and immediate changes to the current sexual assault policy and practices at Reed College. This petition was in circulation for 100 hours and gained 847 signatures of support, 58% of the student body. In contrast, only 37% cast their vote in the last student body elections for Senate and the Quest board.
Initially intended to gauge community support for our cause, we see the overwhelming success of this petition as a clear expression of the gravity of this issue and our collective commitment to work collaboratively with the administration in order to improve the current procedures used by the college to prevent and respond to sexual assault.
The petition calls for the following changes to our current practices:
- The removal of sexual assault cases from the student Judicial Board’s jurisdiction. A new board will be created to hear these cases. This board will receive specialized training on how to adequately hear and adjudicate sex crimes.
- The creation of a new position for an Assistant Dean of Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy.
- The hiring of a Women’s Center liaison. Although our petition calls for a “female-identified” staff person, the primary intent behind this demand seeks to ensure the individual hired be highly trained to effectively engage with female survivors on these sensitive issues. This staff member will serve as a resource for survivors as well as those supporting survivors, and will develop the Women’s Center into a campus department in line with the Multicultural Resource Center.
- Release and make publicly available the identities of all individuals found guilty of sexual assault consistent with the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX and FERPA.
We expect the Reed Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Assault, convened in August 2010 at the behest of the President’s Office, to present their charge to President Diver in the near future. We ask him to consider our petition in tandem with the Ad Hoc Committee’s proposal as representative of a unified goal to move towards a safer and better-educated community.
We look forward to President Diver’s response, and to continuing to work as a community to improve our institutional practices.
Students for Sexual Assault Support Services