Title IX Advisory Group Reports

2017-2018 Title IX Advisory Group Report to the St. Olaf Community

May 23, 2018

Now in its second year, the Title IX Advisory Group was formed to gather community feedback on the revised St. Olaf Title IX policies and procedures. Formed as a result of a recommendation from the Title IX Working Group, the Title IX Advisory Group is charged with gathering feedback and facilitating communication regarding Title IX practices, policies, education, and implementation following the substantial policy changes made in July 2016. The Title IX Advisory Group is composed of seven St. Olaf community members, including students, faculty, and staff.

The summarized feedback included in this document is reflective of the comments received from students who chose to share their opinions and experiences. Students were provided with several opportunities throughout the 2017-2018 school year both online and in-person to share their experiences with and/or concerns about the process. However, we only received ten responses from the various outlets offered to the student body. We acknowledge that the limited amount of feedback may not be fully representative of the overall campus climate surrounding issues of sexual violence.

For the purposes of this community report, we are only able to provide a general overview of the feedback we received to avoid identifying people who provided us with feedback. A more detailed report of the feedback has been submitted to the Title IX Team. Although it is not possible to include all of the information we gathered in a public summary due to its confidential nature, we provide some feedback here in a continued effort for transparency and communication:

  • Some students believe the college has improved sexual violence prevention efforts.
  • Some students express that the members of the Title IX team have been very supportive, informative and caring in their process.
  • Some students feel that cases take too long.
  • Some students feel that cases are not all treated similarly, in turn creating a negative experience for some students and a more positive one for others
  • Some students are confused on various issues: e.g. informal vs. formal process, what qualifies as sexual harassment, etc.
  • Some students believe that counseling should be a sanction while others believe that it should not.

The work of the Title IX Advisory group is ongoing, and we will continue to actively gather feedback. Feedback can always be provided through the feedback forms on our website (https://wp.stolaf.edu/title-ix/feedback-forms/).  You may also contact us at titleix-advisorygroup@stolaf.edu as we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

2017-2018 Title IX Advisory Group Members

  • Rachael Sushner, Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Senior Woman Administrator (Chair)
  • Ben Christiason, GLOW Co-coordinator
  • Katie Fick, Associate College Pastor*
  • Addie Hakes, SARN (Sexual Assault Resource Network) Co-chair*
  • Jauza Khaleel, SGA President
  • Jon Mergens, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Wellness
  • Joanne Quimby, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies (Student Life Committee faculty representative)

*denotes confidential resource

2016-2017 Title IX Advisory Group Report to the St. Olaf Community

May 22, 2017

This past academic year, the Title IX Advisory Group was formed and began to gather community feedback on the revised St. Olaf Title IX policies and procedures. Formed as a result of a recommendation from the Title IX Working Group, the Title IX Advisory Group is charged with gathering feedback and facilitating communication regarding  Title IX practices, policies, education, and implementation following the substantial policy changes made in July, 2016. The Title IX Advisory Group is composed of seven St. Olaf community members, including students, faculty, and staff.

The Advisory Group began its work by developing effective mechanisms for gathering feedback. This stage included establishing a website with relevant information, such as a summary of our charge, group member bios, and feedback forms. The forms hosted on the Title IX Advisory Group website allowed participants to give confidential feedback (to the Pastor and to the SARN advocate) or non-confidential feedback (to the entire Title IX advisory group). Feedback from three individuals were received, and are summarized in this document. In addition to gathering feedback from the online forms, we hosted an event on April 26th for students to share their perceptions of Title IX practices and policies at St. Olaf. We heard from approximately 30 students at this event.

After receiving feedback via the online forms and student forum, we categorized the feedback according to its content. For the purposes of this community report, we are only able to provide a general overview of the feedback we received to avoid identifying people who provided us with feedback. A detailed report of the feedback has been given to the Title IX Team. Although it is not possible to include all of the information we gathered in a public summary due to its confidential nature, we provide this summary of the feedback here in a continued effort for transparency and communication.  

The Title IX Advisory Group heard many suggestions relating to education and training in Title IX and Title IX matters. It was also clear that more guidance is needed for individuals with a responsible employee designation. For example, students receiving a work study award need training on the duties of a responsible employee. Students also expressed the desire for further training beyond the Bystander and Think About It programs from Week One. We suggest this training be iterative and continuous throughout the four years. Additionally, we heard a need for enhanced training for residence life staff, including Junior Counselors (JCs) and Resident Assistants (RAs) regarding the proper response when presented with a Title IX related report.

Our report to the Title IX Team also includes feedback about current policies, including policy implementation. We received information calling for improved communication and emphasis on confidentiality from the Deans to faculty about accommodations. We also received feedback on the definition of consent the alcohol policy that is being passed along to the Title IX Team.

Several students were pleased with the increased communication from the Title IX Team and Kari throughout the Title IX process, and wanted to see this trajectory of improved communication continue.

The work of the Title IX Advisory group is ongoing, and we will continue to actively gather feedback. You can provide feedback through our feedback forms which may be found on our website (https://wp.stolaf.edu/title-ix/feedback-forms/).  You may also contact us at titleix-advisorygroup@stolaf.edu and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

2016-2017 Title IX Advisory Group Members

  • Emma Lind ‘17 (chair, SGA President)
  • Natalia Soler ‘17 (SARN Co-chair*)
  • Jeremy Loebach (Professor of Psychology, Student Life Committee Faculty Representative)
  • Katie Fick (Associate College Pastor*)
  • Jamie Cathcart (Assistant Director of Student Activities)
  • Rachael Sushner (Head Women’s Soccer Coach)
  • Dylan Walker ‘18 (Co-coordinator of GLOW)

*denotes confidential resource