Below is the language from the all-campus email that was sent our Wednesday, August 19th, 2020.
Dear Campus Community,
I hope this note finds y’all as well as possible and practicing self-care in meaningful ways. I’m writing to share some updates regarding changes to the work of the Office of Survivor Advocacy & Community Education (SACE) and to my own position, as required by the Title IX Final Rule recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education. In consultation with the SACE Student Advisory Committee, our office will be renamed the Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE) Office.
The SHAPE Office is dedicated to reimagining a world without interpersonal violence by offering supportive resources for those who have experienced harm; trauma-informed, healing-centered prevention education; and self-care and wellness workshops; and by supporting student activism and trainings within the Wesleyan community.
This mission is in service of a larger vision to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression, which create conditions for interpersonal violence to occur, and to educate the greater Wesleyan community about these acts of violence and how to respond to them in a healing-centered way. This vision is realized through courageous self-reflection, intervention, and empathetic action.
More information about the SHAPE Office and resources can be found on the SHAPE website.
The biggest change in my role as director of the SHAPE Office is not being connected to or supporting students through the actual Title IX Process. Though I will no longer serve as a “survivor advocate” for those going through this process, I will still provide supportive resources to survivors and those who have experienced harm who have not (yet) entered into the process, including serving as a confidential resource and providing general information and options for care and support. Though I will no longer be identified as a ‘survivor advocate,’ I will still provide supportive resources to survivors and those who have experienced harm, including serving as a confidential resource and providing general information and options for care and support. I can only provide this support to folks who have not yet entered into the formal Title IX process.
I can still connect survivors and students who have experienced harm to the Office for Equity and Inclusion and the Title IX coordinator, and these students will still have access to options for reporting, academic accommodations, residential accommodations, and a mutual no-contact agreement. However, since this is all under the “Title IX Process umbrella,” the SHAPE Office cannot be involved. The reason for this is rooted squarely in the new Title IX regulations, which require colleges and universities to provide the exact same process resources for both parties, and Wesleyan does not have staffing to do so.
Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. I will do my best to ensure survivors and those who have experienced intimate violence have access to support services, and will continue the work of violence prevention on our campus, all in the pursuit of imagining a world without intimate violence.
I am sending you light and positive energy in the meantime.