I hope this note finds y’all well and finding opportunities to practice self-care.
The Department of Education just released the final Title IX regulations, outlining how schools are required to respond to instances of sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking). The documentation provided by the Department of Education is extensive (the regulations themselves are over 2,000 pages), and can be found here.
While the timing of this feels challenging, given that our semester is winding down and final exams start this week, I’m writing to check-in. I don’t have answers as to what these regulations will bring, in terms of impact for our community, as the information is so new. I also recognize that even as we try to synthesize information and wrap our heads around this, there is an emotional impact that comes with this news. All that you may be feeling is valid, and real. However you show up and process this news is valid, and real. While it feels impossible to name others experiences, I wanted to write to you all and express a sense of solidarity to those who may feel impacted by this news.
One thing that has grounded me in thinking about this, is that I am not alone. I am not the only one who is concerned about the imbalance in power between students reporting and responding to instances of sexual violence. I am not the only one who wants to think creatively in enacting the most trauma-informed policies possible. I am not the only one who is thinking long and hard to center the question: how can we make these regulations work best for our campus?
There is a wider community of care at Wesleyan and beyond who are all thinking on these questions. I am grateful to be a part of this community, and hopeful that we can reimagine policies and processes that are trauma-informed, continue to encourage a culture of reporting experiences of harm, and that work best for our campus.
And one thing, I can promise you, is that I will do everything in my power to make that reality come true.
In the meantime, prioritize self-care and I am here to be of support however I can.
P.S. For questions or concerns about the regulations, contact Debbie Colucci or Allison Williams in the Office for Equity & Inclusion. For advocacy support, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.