Response to the 2020 Advisory Group Report

Title IX Team and Title IX CORE Team response to the 2020 Advisory Group Report

We would first like to thank the Title IX Advisory Group for their work over the past year. Ensuring our policy and process fits the needs of our community is extremely important to us, and the reports from the Advisory Group help support these efforts. We are also appreciative of the community members who provided feedback to the Advisory Group. 

When the Title IX Working Group made its recommendation that St. Olaf adopt a Title IX Advisory Group to annually review community feedback, the goal was to ensure that St. Olaf would remain in a posture of refining and improving our Title IX process to remove barriers to reporting, support victims of sexual misconduct, and improve the experiences of everyone who participates in the Title IX process. To that end, we are carefully reviewing the report and comments from community members and will be implementing improvements to address these concerns.

After a preliminary review of the report and our meeting with the Advisory Group leadership, we have identified a need for greater education of our process for all community members so that there is a better understanding of options and supportive measures available to victims of sexual misconduct. More specifically, we felt the need to swiftly address the concerns raised in the report by some community members who shared that a barrier to reporting included fear of being disciplined for an alcohol policy violation or a COVID-19 Community Standards violation. We sent out an all-campus email emphasizing the fact that our Title IX Policy contains an amnesty clause that protects involved parties from being disciplined via our alcohol, drug, and COVID-19 policies if those violations arise while reporting or investigating a Title IX incident. We also updated our Title IX website to more specifically address this concern. 

We look forward to continued refinement of our policy and process so that it better reflects the needs of our community. As we do prior to the beginning of each academic year, we will be completing a comprehensive review of our policy and processes, and will be implementing enhancements to address your feedback.

With gratitude,

The Title IX Team and the Title IX CORE Team