Sexual Offense Policy Task Force FAQ's

Q: What is the charge of the task force?

A: President Krislov appointed the members of the task force in Fall 2012 to engage a range of campus constituencies in an examination of the Oberlin College sexual offense policy and its administration.  The goal of the task force is to make recommendations to the President that will be shared with the Oberlin community.  In other words, the task force is examining both what the policy says and how it works in practice.

Q: Who are the members of the task force?

A: The members of the task force as of fall 2013 include the following:

Eric Estes, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, Co-chair 
Mary K. Gray, associate dean for Student Academic Affairs, Oberlin Conservatory of Music 
Laura Nuckols, Class of 2014 
Tania Mukherjee, Class of 2014 
Cuyler Otsuka, Class of 2014 
Meredith Raimondo, associate professor of comparative American studies, Co-chair 
Alison Williams, director, Multicultural Resource Center, associate dean of academic diversity

The task force included the following recently graduated members in 2012 – 2013:

Alicia Dudziak, Class of 2013 
Naomi Pomerantz, Class of 2013

Q:How were members of the task force chosen?

A: Members of the task force were chosen because of their professional roles and previous work on campus and in the community on issues of sexualized violence and a wide range of related issues and concerns.

Q: Why was the task force created?

A: Faculty, staff, and students concerned with sexualized violence on campus have been discussing the current policy for several years.  This campus work contributed to a sense that a task force would be a useful strategy to examine the policy and its administration from a holistic perspective and identify opportunities to improve both domains. We have also been following the national conversation at other colleges and universities about sexual misconduct and Title IX compliance. The national conversation should encourage all schools to examine policy and practice in terms of best practices.

Q: What has the task force accomplished?

A: The task force has met weekly since December 2012. It has engaged in research on peer institutions and the history of the policy, completed a close reading of the current policy, and interviewed key stakeholders, implementers, and community partners. During the 2012 – 2013 school year, it held three open forums for the community.The college has also engaged consultants to work with the task force in identifying the most effective practices and providing an in depth review of policy and practice on campus from the perspective of an external, objective lens. During the summer, the task force developed content for this website to provide resources based on widespread requests for more transparent and accessible information on the policy and issues related to sexual misconduct. In fall 2013, it will propose changes to the college’s sexual offense policy.

Q: How will the task force remain accessible and accountable to Oberlin faculty, staff, and students?

A: The task force plans to remain as transparent as possible about process while protecting the confidentiality of people who may wish to share personal experiences with it. Since the inception of the task force, members of the community have been invited to communicate privately with the task force as a whole by sending e-mail to soptask@oberlin.edu or any of its members by sending e-mail to our individual Oberlin e-mail addresses. The task force is willing to take written comments or to meet with individuals or groups. Any information provided to the task force will remain confidential, which means that no names or identifying details will be reported publicly. This website is intended to provide an interim report on the task force’s activities as well as resources and information related to sexual misconduct policy. A public report describing the task force’s findings and recommendations will be released by the Office of the President upon the conclusion of its work.

Q: What information is available to the public about cases of sexual misconduct on campus?

A: Oberlin complies with the reporting requirements of the Clery Act by providing a  campus report.  The task force is reviewing potential policy changes that could enable additional sharing of aggregate data about reports of violations of the sexual offense policy while protecting individual confidentiality.

Q: How much input has there been from students and other members of the community?

A: In addition to the three public forums, task force members have received feedback in person and in writing from numerous students, faculty, and staff, and through our consultants, parents and alumni. The task force is also meeting with community partners as a part of our review process. We welcome ongoing feedback, suggestions, and questions to both the task force e-mail (soptask@oberlin.edu) and our individual Oberlin e-mail addresses.

Q: What has been the role of student members of the task force?

A: Student representatives have been involved in research on the history of the policy, research on best practices for sexual misconduct prevention on college campuses, drafting task force materials and presentations, meeting with key implementers and consultants, and providing contributions in weekly meetings. Student representatives have also communicated with other students in order to understand their perceptions of the policy and its implementation. The task force student representatives have contributed with equal voice in all meetings. They have participated equally in the development of all task force recommendations and in the development and review of task force materials, including the content for this website.