Update — Jan. 30, 2018
The headline and article in last week’s edition of The Collegian are understandably concerning to our community. The safety of our students is the university’s highest priority. From the moment Willamette became aware of the situation, the staff who work with Title IX processes and in Student Affairs have been responding to and continuing to monitor it. It’s important to reiterate Vice President Jade Aguilar’s message that all information available is actively pursued and considered as part of a conduct review process, guided by staff members who are specially trained to review cases.
Related to the case, Willamette is in the process of filing a complaint against the institution from where the student transferred with the relevant professional association that governs admission policies and protocols.
Students who are concerned about the article can seek resources through the Office of Student Affairs. It’s also important to reiterate Willamette’s commitment to support anyone impacted by sexual or behavioral misconduct. Information is available here.
Original message — Jan. 23, 2018
As announced at the end of last semester, I have taken on the role as Willamette’s Title IX coordinator, with Shana Sechrist and Domanic Thomas continuing their service as deputy Title IX coordinators for employees and students, respectively. Willamette’s compliance with and coordination of Title IX laws, regulations and policies are a critical part of how we create a safe and supportive campus for all.
Willamette has detailed procedures set forth to address Title IX issues and reports of behavioral or sexual misconduct and to protect and care for survivors of assault. These processes, outlined on our website, are crucial in protecting our safety and outlining our rights and responsibilities as members of this learning community. I invite us all to review and remind ourselves of these policies and our role as required reporters. Our staff who participate in the review process and address these issues have received an extensive amount of training. In addition, the confidentiality associated with these investigations is critical in assuring that these matters are handled in a thoughtful and thorough manner and to maintain the integrity of the process.
To that end, I would like to briefly address an article you may see in this week’s edition of The Collegian student newspaper about a student admitted to Willamette. As part of Willamette’s admission and conduct policies, a process begins as soon as we are made aware of a situation or issue. In admission, specifically, information disclosed on an application is reviewed to determine if an applicant can safely become a member of our community. If different or new information is disclosed or discovered after admission, a process occurs in a similar manner to any other conduct review process.
It is important to reiterate that for any case, investigations actively seek all information available, which is then reviewed and considered as part of the conduct review process. Because of federal privacy laws, details on specific cases cannot be shared or discussed to protect confidentiality and privacy of all parties involved.
Willamette is fully committed to addressing allegations of behavioral and sexual misconduct - and it is our collective responsibility to create a safe and respectful campus environment free from harassment and gender-based violence. If students come to you seeking support, please encourage them to utilize the resources available on campus.
In addition, the University Convocation on February 8 in Cone Chapel will include a conversation about Willamette’s Title IX process and I will introduce our new advocate. I hope you can join us for that session.
I thank you in advance for your assistance and encouragement as I take on this critical role to guide our efforts.
Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion