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Improvements to Reed's sexual assault response


Last August, President Diver shared with the Reed community the substantive changes made to prevent and respond effectively to instances of sexual assault on campus. Since that report, further changes have been made in the areas of staffing and adjudication.

Out of the many highly qualified candidates for the position of assistant dean of students for sexual assault prevention and response, Reed was able to hire its top choice. Jyl Shaffer arrived on November 28 from Vanderbilt University, and Reed is delighted to have her onboard.

The goal of Jyl's position is to coordinate sexual assault prevention programs, including educational resources for students, staff, and faculty; design and implement sexual assault response protocols; gather, interpret and prepare data to inform and improve programmatic efforts; and collaborate with campus groups and committees, as well as community partners to assure the quality of Reed's sexual assault prevention and response resources.

The creation of a sexual misconduct board, separate from the student judicial board, is also underway. The new board will hear all cases involving accusations of sexual misconduct beginning the spring semester. The board will comprise a pool of 5 professional staff members and the 12 student members of judicial board. From this 17-person pool, 5 members will be selected to serve on a panel to hear individual cases. Two staff members and a staff chair will serve on each panel. All sexual misconduct board members will receive extensive training.

President Diver announced at the Nov. 9 staff meeting that candidates for the board are being identified. He went on to say that service on the board is voluntary and would be a great opportunity to contribute to Reed.

VP and Dean of Student Services Mike Brody and his staff talked with their counterparts throughout the country to solicit input regarding optimal board composition. "We found boards comprised of every conceivable combination of faculty, staff, and students," says Brody. "The most compelling advice was to consult directly with students in order to identify and remove perceived obstacles that might prevent students from engaging the adjudication process."

"Reed is committed to creating a safer, more responsive, and compassionate campus environment," Brody continued. "This is an ongoing process that requires constant effort and vigilance on the part of the entire community. From what I've seen, Reed has embraced this challenge and I am confident that we will continue to work together toward this goal."

To learn more about Reed's approach, visit the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response website.