Thursday, May 2, 2013

Corrections to the April 26 Features article, “Sexual Assault: a comprehensive look”

By Alison Haywood, News Editor

On April 26, The Mooring Mast published an in-depth investigative piece regarding sexual assault at Pacific Lutheran University. 
It examined the effectiveness of education and prevention programs and organizations, such as Green Dot and SAPET, explored the value of resources to help victims, including the Victim Advocate and Circles of Healing, and looked at how student conduct handles perpetrators as reported by victims.
Here are some important corrections and clarifications:

Ray Lader’s title is Associate Director of Student Conduct, not Assistant Director. Matt Freeman, not Matt Munson, is the Director of the Health and Counseling Centers.

It is Lader’s responsibility, not faculty’s, to inform all parties involved about the student conduct process.

Title IX is a set of guidelines released by the Office of Civil Rights, under the Department of Education, to ensure that all students are treated equally. In student conduct investigations, this means that both sides get access to equivalent resources. Lader said he did not believe a sexual assault victim would ever receive a warning letter from Title IX for getting their alleged attacker fired from a position on campus.

It is also important to note that the students represented in the article were a random sample of three students out of dozens who go through the conduct system each year for sexual assault who felt strongly enough about this issue — and comfortable enough talking about it — to contact me to share their stories. They do not represent all victims or all peoples’ experience with the conduct system, and according to Eva Johnson, the dean of student  development and director of student involvement and leadership,  students accused of sexual assault are “more often than not” suspended from PLU with little to no chance of being allowed to return.