Message to Faculty and Staff — November 19, 2018
To faculty and staff,
I write to share the following message, which was sent this afternoon to our students.
All the best,
To Bowdoin students,
As you may have seen, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed new Title IX regulations on Friday that appear intended to change the way colleges and universities respond to reports of gender-based violence, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment. The College is carefully reviewing these proposed rules and assessing their potential impact on our policies, processes, and procedures.
In the meantime, it is important to emphasize that, whatever changes may occur, they will not alter our fundamental principle that sexual and gender-based violence, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Bowdoin. The College is committed to educating members of our community about these issues and to doing all we can to prevent them. We also remain committed to an adjudication process that is transparent, rigorous, and fair for all parties, and one that reflects our values as a learning community.
A variety of resources are in place at the College to inform and assist members of the Bowdoin community in preventing sexual and gender-based violence. We also provide background information on Title IX and information about how to report incidents of sexual misconduct and gender-based violence.
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the proposed rules and to take advantage of a sixty-day commenting period that will precede the adoption of final rules. A summary of the proposed new rules is available here, and a number of media sources—including The Chronicle of Higher Education—have published articles that describe their potential impact. The commenting period will open once the proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register, at which point those who wish to express an opinion can submit comments here.
On Tuesday, December 4, at 8:00 p.m. Benje Douglas—our director of gender violence prevention and education & Title IX coordinator—will host an open session in the Pickering Room on the second floor of Hubbard Hall for members of the Bowdoin campus community who want to discuss our current Title IX policy and get more information on the new rules and rulemaking process. I encourage you to participate.