Swarthmore Releases Report on Sexual Assault Issues

January 31, 2014

Swarthmore College plans to expand trainings and consent workshops, finalize its interim sexual assault and harassment policies, and establish more comprehensive and integrative prevention and education programs in accordance with the final report from an independent firm commissioned to review the college’s response to sexual harassment. Swarthmore President Rebecca Chopp shared an interim version of the report in July, less than a week after the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights announced it would investigate a federal complaint against Swarthmore. While Chopp’s request for the review preceded OCR’s announcement, her proactive approach will likely work in Swarthmore’s favor because OCR tends to view action taken before and during an investigation as an indicator that a college is committed to complying with the law. Swarthmore has already hired new staff to work on sexual assault issues and expanded educational programming for incoming students. During the spring and summer, it will continue to refine and improve adjudication processes, data collection and nonalcoholic social options, and will publish an annual report summarizing judicial cases.

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