The recent report of the Special Oversight Committee on Sexual Misconduct at Amherst contains some good suggestions on how to improve the disciplinary system and the delivery of psychological and medical care to victims of rape, recommendations that are already being implemented. But in one important respect, the report is seriously flawed.
Last Wednesday, Jan. 30, the Special Oversight Committee on Sexual Misconduct released a report to the College community analyzing the problem of sexual misconduct on campus and reviewing policies and procedures for handling cases of sexual misconduct. The report, titled Towards a Culture of Respect, concluded with a list of over 60 recommendations aimed at improving the College’s ability to prevent sexual violence and build a culture of respect on campus.
Steve Kramer '75 writes concerning the debate surrounding sexual assault at Amherst College.
Dear President Martin,
Speech given during the Healing Fire held on Thursday, Oct. 18th 2012.
My name is Ali Simeone, and I’m a Peer Advocate of Sexual Respect. I want to let you all know that the Peer Advocates are here to support you through your experiences; we know this past week has been especially trying — please don’t hesitate to talk to any of us. Also, I am a co-facilitator for Break the Silence, a support group for Survivors of Sexual Disrespect. If anyone needs to speak to me about these issues, I am a resource.
In the aftermath of the two articles regarding sexual misconduct on campus, first Dana Bolger’s about the TD t-shirt, and then, yesterday, Angie Epifano’s emotional article concerning her experiences on campus, there has been an outcry from the student body. Please, do not misunderstand my intentions in this commentary; these articles, these experiences, they deserve shock and they deserve outrage.
Trigger Warning: This letter mentions an incident of sexual assault.
My name is Alexis, and I’m a former Mount Holyoke College student. In 2011, I was raped at Amherst College and went through the disciplinary hearing process.
I would just like to personally thank you for being so open and willing to change both the Amherst College disciplinary hearing process for sexual assault cases and the overall culture at Amherst College. It seems misogynistic and rape culture has been a long-standing problem, not just at Amherst College, but all over the world.