Comments from the Feedback Form and Listening Sessions

From Spring '18 discussions and Climate Survey results that were discussed at Faculty and Staff Day, the Gender Equity Task Force identified three general areas of focus for this academic year:  Clarify and improve the response process for those who engage it;  improve people's understanding of the response process; improve the communication and education of the process.

Feedback Form

ARE THESE THE FIRST THREE AREAS THAT YOU SEE AS HIGHEST PRIORITIES?

- I think these are all high-priority areas, but they all focus on responding to an incident of harassment that has already occurred rather than creating an environment that supports gender equity by making it less likely that harassment will occur in the first place.

- Educating all community members on consent, making the resources visible to all community members, and bringing our student and employee handbooks into alignment with the cutting edge standards - not just what is the "national standard," or "legal" standard for this area.

 

WHAT ADDITIONAL ACTIONS SHOULD THE GENDER EQUITY TASK FORCE ADDRESS GIVEN THE RESULTS OF THE CLIMATE SURVEY?

- In order to create a climate of gender equity, I think we need to work on how to better encourage an environment where people treat one another with respect and are more sensitive to what others might perceive as disrespectful or inappropriate, although I don't know exactly how to go about it. Perhaps it could start with more discussion of what may constitute gender harassment.

- One of my concerns since I've been at Saint Mary's is how frequently people seem to disregard what I consider normal workplace boundaries, particularly with regard to touching colleagues' bodies. Hugging people, kissing them on the cheek, or touching their shoulders or legs is not necessarily sexual harassment, but I worry it can lead to sexual harassment or can make people uncomfortable with the gender dynamics of their relationships with colleagues. (It may also simply make them feel their personal space is being violated.) I have not encountered this on other campuses and wonder what it is about the Saint Mary's climate that makes many people behave with more physical intimacy than I think is appropriate for a workplace.

- Advocate for a college ombudsman.
- I APPRECIATE the laminated Title IX info sheets posted in the restrooms throughout campus. Please      maintain this practice. Are these also located in student restrooms as well (E.g. first-year residence halls)?

 

Listening Sessions

- Highly dissatisfied with the response of the college regarding the reporting process for sexual assault/harassment and the results of the process, especially the level of communication from the administration.

- Education of the process is key to outsiders because there is not an easy understanding and transparency of how the process works, along with how accountability is held and who someone can speak to, to make a report.

- Bystander Intervention Training for students, staff, and faculty;

- State of the College on Gender Equity and Women, along with a typed up page of statistics to make the report more community-oriented rather than Human Resources centered.

- A multi-layered approach to education needed for staff and faculty to know what is appropriate behavior, how to report, civility, bystander intervention, etc.

- Discussion of an actual ombudsman for the campus: must consider the hats that the officers wear, and make it clear what the roles are or are not for when people are wanting to report an incident.

- There need to be clearer protections for staff and faculty with resources similar to other schools (e.g. UC-Berkeley)

- There need to be greater options within the reporting and overall process (e.g. Restorative Justice) if someone wishes to move forward. Educate all regarding the resources available and the options available to them depending on what result one is looking for. 

- How is a community of open reporting and an interactive process created and maintained?

- Often times people feel the burden is on them to determine what the result or justice should look like rather than knowing what the options available to them are.

- It is easier for someone to leave the college than to attempt to navigate the reporting process, and there is the perception that Human Resources is going to err on the side of the college rather than staff and faculty.

- How is the mission actively engaged when it relates to situations where staff and faculty are not feeling safe and secure on campus in their jobs and around others?

- Intersectionality of how are women of color treated and what is their experience on campus within the college community? There is concern over the retention of this group of staff and faculty members.

- Could there be outside funding (e.g. Ford Foundation) to research the retention of women and those of color?

- For those in the LGBTQ+ community, it is important that administratively there are responses to situations and incidents that occur regardless of the person's status within the Catholic/Lasallian community. Ensuring there is an equal response to and sensitivity of situations no matter who the person may be.

  • Perhaps there can be guidelines established to determine how often and when communication is sent out to the college community.

- There is an expectation for any communication to be greater than simply "thoughts and prayers are being sent."

- Women and those of color often take on the brunt of the emotional support roles on campus:

  • CARE line - all female, 24/7 on call two weeks at a time/volunteer/no-stipend

- Response from Human Resources to previous incidents has felt lacking so that confidence in the process has not been positive, and staff and faculty to do feel comfortable bringing incidents and situations that have occurred. There is also a strong sense of tone-deafness around campus surrounding issues of sexual harassment and assault.

- Perhaps the construction of a Women's Network with subgroups and affinity circles

- How can the college respond to situations and national issues in such a way as to create a conversation about them? 

  • Creation of a Rapid Response Team for events/situations/national issues (e.g., CCIE, BIRT, Staff Council) 
  • Contributing to a more inclusive climate on campus