On Wednesday morning of TLISI, Georgetown staff Jen Schweer (Associate Director of Sexual Assault and Prevention Services), Laura Cutway (Title IX Coordinator), and Adam Adler (University Counsel) gave a presentation entitled “The Culture of Care: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct.” Together, these three presenters worked to review the basics of employee responsibility in adhering to Title IX, as well as to contextualize the types of conversations about sexual misconduct that occur at Georgetown and at other universities as well.
The talk was split into three parts, with Cutway first discussing the administration of the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Climate Survey that was held at Georgetown during the spring of 2016. Results from this survey are forthcoming in the fall semester, but Cutway was happy to report that 51% of the Georgetown student body invited to participate (including undergraduates, graduate students, and law students) successfully completed the survey. Cutway also pointed out that these types of surveys are offered every two years at Georgetown. The goal of the survey was to assess the incidence and characteristics of sexual assaults occurring on campus, along with assessing student’s awareness of their access to important resources like the Crisis Counseling Center or the LGBTQ Center. The survey data will also be used to compare Georgetown’s results to those of other colleges and universities and to the national data as well.
Second, Adam Adler spoke about the national conversation surrounding sexual misconduct on college campuses. He specified that Georgetown has a “longstanding commitment” to this issue, and is one of the first universities to hire a full-time confidential counselor for sexual misconduct. Adam continued to outline the differences between the different types of misconduct that fall under Title IX’s jurisdiction, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. He then discussed the specifics of Title IX in unique circumstances at Georgetown, including its impact on college students who decide to study abroad.
Lastly, Jen Schweer picked up on the various kinds of employee responsibilities that Title IX often leads to. Schweer discussed the specifics of compulsory reporting, which is a category that includes almost all faculty except for health professionals and others labeled with a “confidential” title, and how the focus at Georgetown is always on supporting the student first, then having the faculty member report whatever incidence of misconduct gets relayed to them to their Title IX Coordinator after they’ve heard the student out. Her motto for employees is “first support, then report.” Among other important issues regarding Title IX resources for students, Schweer discussed the difference between confidential spaces and semi-confidential spaces, as well as how faculty and staff can file a formal complaint with her office in the event that an incident is reported. Schweer listed numerous resources for faculty and staff to recommend to students as they continue supporting them, including Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Health Education Services, and the Student Health Center. To research the issue of sexual assault at Georgetown more deeply, please visit the website for sexual assault resources at Georgetown, as well as the Title IX main page for the campus.