Pomona College No Red Tape Demands

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Dear Pomona College Administration, Alumni, Staff, Faculty, Students, and Allies,


We offer this list of demands in solidarity with Columbia University’s No Red Tape Initiative and in solidarity with our survivors on campus who deserve the respect, support, and care which is currently being denied them at Pomona College. All support services, resources, and disciplinary processes provided by the College should be survivor-centered and transparent. To this effect, we demand:


SUPPORT

1) Survivors should never be encouraged to take a leave of absence during the investigation and hearing processes, disrupting their education and prioritizing perpetrators of violence. Adequate support measures should be in place, so that existing on campus is feasible during this process.

2) Have professional staffing at The Empower Center on campus 24/7, instead of Monsour Counseling Services, or provide funds and transportation to access Project Sister

3) Allow students to have both moral and legal support throughout the reporting and adjudication process. Students should not have to choose between having a loved one or lawyer by their side.

5) Educate all first-responders to be culturally sensitive and aware of resources on campus, including immediate support to feel safe navigating campus, STI testing, rape kits and reporting options.


ACCESSIBILITY

1) Revise the policy language to remove unnecessarily complex and inaccessible legal language. The policy’s language should be clear, without ambiguity or holes in policy, and easily understood by any student.

2) Provide students, especially those who cannot afford an attorney advisor, with more options for legal representation, such as alumni, members of the campus legal community or other volunteer attorneys.

3) Make/collect aggregate data about processes available to all students, including instances of repeat offenders and specific information about accommodations granted.

4) Revise policy language to clarify the procedures for requesting academic and other interim and post accommodations and grant students more agency over academic and other accommodations.

5) Secure trauma-specific accommodations and require the dean’s office and faculty members to respect them.


ACCOUNTABILITY

1) Allow a wide variety of students to be consistently involved in the revision and oversight of campus policies and programs, including the hiring of the next Title IX Coordinator over the summer--limiting student and advocate participation.

2) Revise Timely Warning protocols to include information about ongoing threats posed by university-affiliated individuals. Additionally, revise language of the alerts to include trigger warnings and replace victim blaming “tips” with resources for survivors and sanction reminders for offenders.

3) Explicitly recognize students’ right to record all interviews and meetings with Student Conduct and Community Standards staff to ensure the accuracy of all parties’ accounts and the legitimacy of the overall process.

4) Increase transparency around employee training and qualifications, especially for legally mandated reporters and external adjudicators.

5) Establish a continual and accessible feedback mechanism that allows students to share their experiences with Pomona College’s prevention programs, resources and adjudication processes. This survey should be widely publicized and received by an independent body that does not control any of the previously mentioned programs, potentially composed of faculty, to avoid further conflict of interest.

6) Require that perpetrators expelled from the college for assault can only transfer to another institution with a record of their abuse.


FUNDING

1) Increase the number of investigators and case managers to ensure appropriate responses to conflicts of interest requests.

2) Make The Advocates paid positions of at least $15/hour to reflect their value in our community and increase accessibility for low-income students.

3) Fund transportation and additional costs required to access paid professionals at Project Sister, or increase Empower Center drop-in hours.


ENFORCEMENT

1) Clarify enforcement mechanisms to ensure the policy works as written, including minimum sanctions for interpersonal violence.

2) Respect and respond to complaints and issues with External Adjudicators, acknowledging the existence of internalized rape culture and bias against survivors of interpersonal violence.

3) Include a process for the investigation and removal of investigators, case managers and other employees, who fail to adequately and appropriately carry out their duties on behalf of survivors.

4) Create and require more robust prevention programs than current Teal Dot trainings and ensure all students participate in a meaningful way.

Signed,

Harmela Beyene ‘19
Kay Calloway ‘18
Emily Coffin ‘19
Zemia Edminston ‘20
Sanami Fendt ‘20
Mamy M’Baye ‘19

Along with a dedicated group of survivors, advocates, and allied students

 



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