UO Matters: Because of the importance of Thursday’s July 24th meeting of the Senate Task force on Sexual Violence to the UO community and beyond, I hired reporter Dash Paulson as a freelancer to cover it. Mr. Paulson wrote several excellent stories as an Emerald reporter, including the first substantive interview with President Gottfredson, in January 2013, here, and he previously reported for UO Matters on the June Trustees meetings, here and here. His summary is below, followed by a detailed report on the meeting. As usual, quotes are in quotes, otherwise it’s the gist of the discussion.
The Task Force’s Official website is here, prior UO Matters posts are here. President Gottfredson’s self-appointed “External Review Panel” is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday, still no word on whether their meetings will be open or closed.
Mr. Paulson’s report:
Last Thursday, the new Task Force to Address Sexual Assault and Survivor Support, created by a motion in the faculty senate, met to elect a chair and clarify the goals and mission of the new group.
Professor Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan volunteered to co-chair the task force. Stabile wanted to focus on facilitating the task force meetings while Sullivan leads development of a tentative new course to educate students and to some extent UO employees on sexual violence. After unanimously electing Sullivan and Stabile as co-chairs, the group had a lengthy discussion on the charge of the task force. It was widely agreed that the task force should begin by gathering as much information as possible about the UO’s process and policies on sexual assault cases. Task Force members Sandy Weintraub, director of student conduct & community standards, and Renae DeSautel, sexual violence response coordinator, volunteered to give a presentation on the UO’s policy on handling sexual assault incidents. Some members said that the procedure appeared from the outside to be “broken” in light of the March 8th incident of alleged sexual assault, and they felt part of the group’s charge would be to identify problems and recommend improvements.
The group also discussed the upcoming Campus Climate Survey. Stabile said the task force should endorse the University’s proposed survey along with others, like one conducted by Professor of Psychology, Jennifer Freyd, who has been developing a survey on campus sexual violence for two years.
Several members wanted to understand better what the panel initiated by President Gottfredson will be doing. Senate President Robert Kyr, who called in for the first half hour of the meeting, told the Task Force the President’s Chief of Staff, Gregory Rikhoff, would be contacting them. There was discussion of liaisons between the groups. By the end of the meeting, the task force agreed to meet again in two weeks and in the meantime make contact with other groups on campus that deal with sexual violence. Talking points next time will include the presentation by Weintraub and DeSautel, the role of alcohol in “party culture”, and more about a possible course on the nature of sexual violence.
The full, updated committee membership, which now includes US Attorney for Oregon Amanda Marshall, is on the committee website, here. Senate President Rob Kyr and Andrew Lubash showed up via conference call.
3:06 p.m. Introductions
Lisa Mick Shimizu: Thanks everyone for coming. Welcomes two new members, Andrew Lubash who will join via a conference call and Cheney Ryan (Law). UO Ombudsman Bruce McCalister has also joined the committee, but he’s on a plane at the moment.
3:10 Confirmation of Chair