Monday, February 23, 2009

STUDENTS DEMAND, CUNY RESPONDS: CUNY TO CREATE PREVENTION-FOCUSED, SEXUAL-ASSAULT POLICY

FROM http://cunypolicy.blogspot.com/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Students for a Greater CUNY

October 17, 2008

STUDENTS DEMAND, CUNY RESPONDS: CUNY TO CREATE PREVENTION-FOCUSED, SEXUAL-ASSAULT POLICY

Students Survey Despite Taskforce Opposition
New York, NY

College sexual assault is a major concern for colleges and universities around the country. Institutions of higher education address how they care for the psychological wellness and physical safety of their students through their sexual assault policies, thereby meeting federal government requirements under Title IX and the Jeanne Cleary Act. Surprisingly, the City University of New York (CUNY) does not have a system‐wide sexual assault policy. In a unprecedented move, Elischia Fludd, a BA/MA student at John Jay, and Jerin Alam, a CUNY Baccalaureate student with home college at Hunter, negotiated with CUNY Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Frederick Schaffer, for a democratic and transparent process to create a comprehensive, prevention‐focused policy for the more than 300,000 members of CUNY.

A task force has been assembled to create this comprehensive, prevention‐focused sexual assault policy with a commitment that it will be readily accessible to all CUNY members within one academic year. Fludd and Alam make up two of four student leaders on this dynamic, all‐inclusive, taskforce of 12 that represents CUNY’s community and senior colleges, Student Development personnel, faculty and staff researchers, the Department of Public Safety, General Counsel staff, and the Council of Presidents.

Fludd and Alam’s first challenge as members of the taskforce arose this month when some members of the taskforce decided to conduct a survey of Student Development office staff at each CUNY school to assess what services and information students are currently receiving pertaining to sexual assault. The decision of the taskforce was made without a formal meeting of all the members, and despite urgent student requests to maintain the integrity of the proposed transparent process by including a survey of students. Few task force members expressed similar concerns. Fludd and Alam believe that the task force needs to know what services and information students are actually receiving more than what the various schools believe they are doing. Students are the largest stakeholders in gaining a uniform sexual assault policy, and their
opinions need to be heard. So Fludd and Alam are surveying CUNY students themselves.

As part of their commitment to keeping the taskforce accountable to the students of CUNY, Fludd and Alam re‐constructed the originally dense survey to create a student‐friendly version on the Internet. Fludd and Alam will voice the student opinions that they gather through this process at the first taskforce meeting. To access the survey, go to:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=CFmGoE44OXJ96y3E9_2f3ebw_3d_3d

The taskforce is scheduled to have its first meeting on Tuesday, October 21st, at 3pm.
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