After a flurry of springtime acceptance letters, first year students now know where they are heading for college this fall. For many young people this summer is a period of planning, excitement and trepidation—a next step they have been looking forward to and an opportunity that is filled with uncertainties. Will they get along with their roommates? Will they manage their college course loads? Will they be safe on their campuses? Culture of Respect believes that every student has the right to feel safe and respected at his or her academic institution. And we have been working to make that a reality on college campuses across the country.
We are honored to be featured in the Association of American Colleges & Universities Spring 2015 issue of Diversity & Democracy, which is focused on addressing gender-based inequities in higher education. The article presents a critical opportunity to share the Culture of Respect CORE Blueprint with an audience of higher education faculty and leaders about the importance of creating campuses that are safe and inclusive for all students.
In addition, we are seeing progress on public sector efforts to end campus sexual assault. This month, New York State announced the adoption of new laws that will establish a statewide definition of affirmative consent. While not a perfect solution, affirmative consent is a crucial step away from victim blaming because it requires clear affirmative agreement from both partners. Following in the footsteps of California’s law, New York’s affirmative consent law is a step on the path towards creating the holistic cultural change needed to ensure that every young person is safe on his or her college campus. As we continue to roll out our Pilot Program in schools across the country, including in California and New York, we look forward to leveraging this new legislation to bring our six-pillar strategy to colleges and universities and ensure that each campus’s unique culture encompasses a Culture of Respect.
This month, the blog features guest writer Adam Jussel, Director of Student Conduct and Assistant Dean of Students at Washington State University, who offers recommendations on an empowering adjudication model for sexual misconduct. His model provides students with self-advocacy tools they can use in their lives beyond college. Read his piece, Finding Equity and Empowerment in the Adjudication Process, to learn more.
We wish all our friends and colleagues a pleasant and restful summer and look forward to sharing progress on our efforts to create a Culture of Respect on every campus for all students this fall.