Title IX Policy Proposal

CW: mentions of sexual misconduct, assault, harassment

With the recent events that have occurred on Emerson’s campus concerning Title IX and the college’s handling of violations with the sexual misconduct policy, we, as the SGA Executive Board, wanted to take an opportunity to update our community on some of the work that we have been doing this semester.

First of all, we want to acknowledge the voices that have spoken out over the past couple of weeks. We see you, we hear you, and we intend to provide support to those that have been impacted in whatever way we can. SGA is meant to be a liaison between the student body and Emerson College staff, faculty, and administration. If any students would like to utilize SGA as a resource, we encourage you to reach out to sga_president@emerson.edu or send a message through emersonsga.org/contactus.

Since October, members of our Executive Board have been meeting with staff from the Title IX and Campus Life offices to address concerns of eligibility as it pertains to student organization leaders that are involved in active Title IX investigations as respondents. Our Executive Board is drafting a proposal to be submitted to Pam White (Associate Vice President, Title IX) and Erik Muurisepp (Associate Dean, Campus Life). Our goal for this proposed policy would be to hold student leadership in affiliated student organizations to a higher standard, adding to other eligibility requirements that students must already meet (such as GPA and good social and academic standings).

Specifically, we are proposing that:

  1. In cases where the Title IX coordinator contacts the Campus Life Office regarding an accusation or investigation, the Associate Dean for Campus Life will ask the Title IX coordinator if the student in question should be allowed to hold leadership positions within affiliated student organizations.

  2. In the event where the Title IX coordinator recommends that the student in question be unable to serve in a leadership capacity, the Associate Dean for Campus Life will consult with affiliated student organization rosters via EmConnect to determine if the student in question currently holds a leadership role (as determined by the organization’s existing structure in their constitution).

  3. In the event where the student in question does serve as a leader in an affiliated student organization, the Associate Dean for Campus Life will contact the student notifying them that they no longer meet the eligibility requirements for student organization leaders. This notice will require that the student resign from their position within one week until they meet eligibility requirements again.

  4. The student will remain ineligible for any student organization leadership position at Emerson until related interim measures are lifted by the Title IX coordinator.

  5. In the event where the student would like to remove the restriction or interim measures, they will contact the Associate Dean for Campus Life who may consult with the Title IX Coordinator to review the request.

This proposal has been submitted to both Erik Muurisepp and Pam White for consideration. The expected next steps are for this proposed policy to be reviewed before being entered into the Student Handbook. Our hope is that this is in place as a policy for the next academic year, starting in Fall 2019.

In addition to the above proposal, we are looking into adding additional eligibility requirements to the already existing criteria for all elected SGA positions. This would require students to undergo verification that they have not been involved in a Title IX investigation as a responding party. Our goal is to implement a trial run of this practice in our next SGA election cycle.

We will also intend to engage in conversation with Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) to explore the possibility of encouraging all affiliated student organizations to have resources for Title IX, Healing and Advocacy Collective, and Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) available in their constitution. Should any student have information or feel unsafe in their student organization, they have the ability to seek out these and other resources for additional guidance and support.

Again, if any there are any students in need of assistance or additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are a resource for all students, no matter what the question, concern, or need is!


SGA Executive Board (2018-2019)