Skip to content

OSAC’s Efforts

TIMELINE

This timeline documents contact between OSAC members and the Oxy Administration pertaining to sexual assault issues on campus. It starts with a town hall meeting in March of 2007 and ends with a town hall meeting in March of 2013, exemplifying the “Oxy way” of substituting talk for action. During these six years, OSAC members participated in 7 different campus-wide forums on sexual assault, met with Administrators more than 20 times, participated in three different task forces, and gave 8 presentations on persistent issues with Oxy’s sexual assault programming, policies, and procedures. This timeline does not reflect the work of passionate student, faculty, and staff advocates who have also worked tirelessly to improve sexual assault issues at Oxy during and prior to this time. This is not a new conversation, and to treat it as such erases the work that has been done and further delays taking long overdue action. PDF Download

2007

March 8 2007 – The Administration hosts a town hall meeting to discuss campus climate issues, including racism, homophobia, and sexual assault, after a series of troubling events on campus.

April 6 2007 – Professor Heldman meets with the Administration to discuss changing campus climate with better orientation and leadership training. She proposes bringing the nation’s leading expert on gendered violence prevention, Dr. Jackson Katz, to campus for Orientation and leadership training in the fall. The administration agrees, but to date, Dr. Katz has not come to Oxy for Orientation or leadership training.

April 10 2007 – The Administration hosts another town hall meeting was held to discuss campus climate issues pertaining to new instances of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

October 17 2007 – The Occidental Weekly : A Policy of Prevention (“The College has a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault and rape.”) This article expresses concern about the transparency of Oxy’s policy and effectiveness of prevention efforts.

2009

April 20 2009 – The Occidental Weekly : Take Back the Week Promotes Dialogue About Sexual Violence

May 17 2009 – Professors Heldman and Wade contact Naddia Palacios in Student Services to share that they are “frightened” by the rates of sexual assault that they discovered on Oxy’s campus through their study of hook-up culture on the campus. They ask for assistance in sharing this data with the campus community through programming to create action on preventing sexual assault at Oxy. Palacios shares this with her supervisor, but no action is taken.

May 25 2009 – The Politics Department files formal complaint about with Faculty Council in response to the Administration’s handling of a sexual assault case.

Summer 2009 – In response to the Politics Department’s formal complaint, Faculty Council develops a Faculty Hearing Board to review the details of the formal complaint and make recommendations to the College for improving sexual assault policy and procedures.

September 23 2009 – Professors Boesche and Heldman present data to the Faculty Hearing Board about the national rape epidemic and issues at Oxy. Two days later, they send additional materials on sexual assault policy and procedure suggestions requested by the Hearing Board.

October 15-23 2009 – Professor Heldman and the Center for Gender Equity host Masculinities Week to shift campus climate around issues of sexual violence at Oxy. Heldman invites newly-appointed President Jonathan Veitch to be a co-sponsor, but he declines and instead calls her into a meeting to express concern about the theme. Nearly 800 Oxy students and community members attended nine events over the course of the week.

October 2009 – For the second time, Professor Heldman meets with staff about bringing Jackson Katz to campus for orientation the following year, and while staff members are enthusiastic about the idea, the Administration chooses not to bring Dr. Katz for orientation.

November 6 2009 – Faculty Hearing Board on Sexual Assault releases a report that includes clear recommendations for revisions to improve sexual assault policies and procedures on campus: (1) convene a task force of outside professionals to study Oxy’s sexual assault problem, (2) form a standing faculty committee to work with the Dean of Students office to revise the policy, and (3) form a standing pool of trained faculty to participate in adjudication. proceedings.

2010

Summer 2010 – The Administration hires NCHERM (National Center for Higher Education Risk Management) and works with ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators) to improve sexual assault policies and procedures. This training does not comply with recommendations from the Faculty Hearing Board on Sexual Assault, but instead focuses on limiting institutional liability. This training results in removal of the zero-tolerance language from the policy and alteration of consent from only verbal to verbal or physical (obfuscating consent and making it much more difficult to establish consent in judicial hearings). The student body is not notified of these changes.

September 20 2010 – In trying to meet the third recommendation of the Faculty Hearing Board, Faculty Council emails faculty requesting individuals who would be willing to be trained to serve on hearing boards.

Fall 2010 – The Administration brings a convicted rapist to campus to talk about alcohol and sexual assault issues for a mandatory Orientation session. Many survivors were triggered and expressed their concern with student services. This convicted rapist spoke to another student group the following day.

October 22 2010 – A group of faculty members send an open letter calling for action to change campus climate given the racial and sexual nature of a bias incident involving a Greek-affiliated organization. The incidents are investigated and documented by LAPD and Campus Safety and Dean Gonzalez affirms a commitment to discussion about diversity and equity.

October 23 2010 – Professor Heldman emails Dean Jorge Gonzalez to call for action about reports of sexual assault committed by members of the same Greek-affiliated organization. In the email, she shares that 40 percent of the anonymously reported rapes in the previous year involved members of this organization (using Project SAFE data).

October 2010 – Professor Heldman meets with Deans Jorge Gonzalez and Barbara Avery, providing national data and data on the Greek-affiliated organization. Dean Avery assures Professor Heldman that sexual assault was happening “all over campus,” not just at this Greek-affiliated organization. No further action is taken.

2011

April 4 2011 – Department of Education Office of Civil Rights releases a “Dear Colleague” Letter that reiterates, “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime” and that “All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX” (a 1972 federal mandate that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance).

Summer/Fall 2011 – Student reaches out to Professors Heldman and Gonzalez after the Administration refuses to release the decision of the assault hearing and college legal counsel pressures student at workplace and over email to settle case, and then asks complainant to share her experience as a rape survivor with students and their parents at Orientation.

Fall 2011 – Two other survivors come forward with mishandled rape cases, and Professors Gonzalez and Heldman begin informal meetings with survivors and allies to best practices for addressing these issues.

August 2011 – Dean Erica O’Neal Howard joins Oxy staff as Associate Dean of Students and is responsible for the College’s Title IX compliance. The Title IX Coordinator was previously a faculty member.

September 9 2011 – The Occidental Weekly : Violent Crimes Lead to Questions About Emergency Protocols

September 13 2011 – The Occidental Weekly : It Could Have Been Prevented

September 13 2011 – The Occidental Weekly : Don’t Think it Doesn’t Happen Here

September 19 2011 – Professors Gonzalez and Heldman meet with President Veitch to request the firing of an administrator whom they believe violated the law in the handling of a sexual assault case. No action is taken on this request.

October 6 2011 – Professors Heldman and Wade meet with President Jonathan Veitch, Dean Barbara Avery, and Dean Erica O’Neal Howard to give a presentation, “Sexual Assault on Campus: Overview and Best Practices” to which President Veitch responds that he wishes to make Occidental College a “national leader” on sexual assault issues.

October 12 2011 – The Occidental Weekly : Editorial from Estrella Lucero, Stephanie Davis and Fatima Avellan

October 28, 2011 – Professors Heldman and Gonzalez discuss with Deans Girton and Avery to discuss the handling of a sexual assault case. They meet again about this same case three days later with legal counsel Carl Botterud.

November 7 2011 – Professor Heldman meets with Paula Crisostomo, the head of the ICC, to discuss concerns about sexual assault issues on campus.

November 21 2011 – The Occidental Weekly : Occidental Reforms its Sexual Misconduct Policy

November/December 2011 – Students lobby student services to bring Dr. Katz to campus for orientation. Dr. Katz is again not scheduled for Orientation.

November 21 2011 – The Administration forms another sexual assault task force led by the Director of the Office of Community Engagement.

November 30 2011 – Professors Gonzalez and Heldman meet with administrators to set goals for this sexual assault task force.

December 6 2011 – Professor Heldman presents national and Oxy-specific data to the sexual assault task force.

2012

February 14 2012 – After the second sexual assault task force meeting, Professors Heldman, Wade, and Gonzalez conclude that this task force will not be effective given its size, lack of formal training on the issue, mission, and time constraints. They decide not to participate.

February 14 2012 – After years of individual meetings with administrations and several survivors coming forward with complaints about the hearing and appeals process for sexual assault adjudication procedures, a group of students and faculty formally decide to organize as the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition.

Spring 2012 – Using the “Dear Colleague” letter, national best practices, national data,  and data from Oxy students as a template for evaluating Occidental’s sexual assault policies, procedures, and programming, OSAC spends approximately 150 hours to develop an 80+ point “matrix” that compares Oxy to makes recommendations in nine topic areas: policy, reporting procedures, investigation procedures, adjudication, survivor support services, prevention programming, evaluation, public reporting, and institutional features.

March 6 2012 – The Occidental Weekly : Sexual Violence Cannot be Addressed Through Risk Reduction Alone

April 3 2012 – A student requests a meeting with Dean Avery to discuss sexual battery at Spring Fest, but his/her request is ignored. S/he requests a response from the Dean three months later and is again ignored.

May 4 2012 – Professor Heldman requests a meeting with Deans Avery and O’Neal Howard to discuss the 20-page rubric for sexual assault best practices that would improve sexual assault climate, programming, policy, and procedures at Occidental College.

May 13 2012 – The Occidental Weekly : Flaws Found in Sexual Assault Policy

May 21 2012 – OSAC meets with Deans Avery, O’Neal Howard, Turenne, Chang, students, Tamara Rice, Emily Harris, Paula Crisostomo to discuss the sexual assault rubric. The Administration tells OSAC that they don’t have adequate staffing and time to look into the issue, but ask OSAC to revise the policy and procedures. OSAC members spend the summer completing these tasks, but their revisions and recommendations are ignored.

May 29 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks meet with Assistant Director for Intercultural Affairs, Dominic Alletto, to discuss and prepare for Orientation’s sexual assault programming, with a focus on “good sex,” consent, and sexual misconduct. Heldman and Dirks recommend Dr. Katz also come to speak given his agreement and interest.

June 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks ask Faculty Council to establish a faculty task force to improve ongoing problems with sexual assault on campus.

July 6 2012 – Assistant Director for Intercultural Affairs, Dominic Alletto, emails Professors Heldman and Dirks saying that Orientation will only devote 40 minutes for their presentation on sexual assault to which Professors Heldman and Dirks decline as it demonstrates “that College is not taking issue of sexual assault seriously.”

July 20 2012 – Professor Dirks emails Dean O’Neal Howard about the Anonymous Reporting Form to inform her that the form requires a log-in and therefore cannot be accessed anonymously. After six days and several emails back and forth, the form is updated to allow anonymous reporting.

August 2012 – OSAC develops several sexual assault resource pages for survivors and allies for Orientation. These resources are not distributed.

September 21 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks email Dean O’Neal Howard to inquire about changes made to the sexual assault policy that were made without notifying the campus community over the summer. These changes essentially create an “automatic appeals” process whereby an appeal can be granted if a respondent or a complainant find the sanctions unfair. Dean O’Neal Howard refers Professors Heldman and Dirks to Deans Avery and Gonzalez.

September 22 2012 – OSAC develops a website that features pages of resources and a “Survivors Stories” [Trigger Warning] page where students can share their experiences at Oxy.

September 26 2012 - The Occidental Weekly : Project SAFE PA Forced Out

September 27 2012 – Professors Dirks and Heldman meet with Deans Gonzalez and Avery about continuing problems with the sexual assault process. Dean Avery confirms that her staff has been stonewalling faculty efforts around sexal assault issues because some faculty have been “too pushy.”

September 25 2012 – OSAC completes and distributes policy and procedure recommendations.

October 17 2012 – Dean Barbara Avery sends an email to the campus community with a link to a newly established “Sexual Assault Resources and Support” that replicates a resource on the OSAC website.

October 19 2012 – The Occidental Weekly : Students: Sexual Misconduct Policy Changes Lacked Full Disclosure

October 19 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks meet with Deans Avery and O’Neal Howard to discuss policy recommendations, express concern about administrative stonewalling on sexual assault issues, and present OSAC’s 12 Demands. Professors Heldman and Dirks state in clear terms that students are interested in filing a Title IX complaint if the Administration does not initiate swift and effective action, starting with the 12 Demands.

October 19 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks request a meeting with President Veitch in response to Deans Avery and O’Neal-Howard’s being “equanimous about the prospect of students filing complaints with the Office of Civil rights about their experiences with Oxy’s sexual assault process.” The President does not reply to this request.

October 2012 – OSAC gains 19 additional faculty supporters.

October 21 2012 – OSAC attends provides nonviolence training for Day of Action around sexual assault issues and appoints “non-violence ambassadors” in preparation for the day.

October 23 2012 – OSAC meets with Faculty Council to provide a background for the 12 Demands and shares a timeline of OSAC’s efforts thus far with Administrators and President Veitch.

October 25 2012 – OSAC hosts an Informational Session on the recent history of sexual assault prevention efforts at Oxy and the content of and need for the 12 Demands. President Veitch attends the session.

October 25 2012 – OSAC sends President Veitch 1) Informational Session presentation materials, 2) aggregate data on Oxy sexual assault cases (including the number of known serial rapists invited back to campus), 3) the reworked/rewritten sexual assault policy and procedure that Dean of Students Office requested in May 2012, and a recent Center for Public Integrity study that demonstrates campus sexual assault adjudication processes across the nation give weak sanctions to individuals found responsible for sexual misconduct and serve to traumatize victims and survivors.

October 31 2012 – President Veitch emails Professors Heldman and Dirks about their concerns of the length of the adjudication process, not calling witnesses, inconsistent sanctions, appeals granted without standing, and routine overturning of sanctions on appeal. Based on information from his staff, he dismisses these concerns but agrees to an evaluation of cases adjudicated in the previous 18 months.

November 5, 2012 – Dean Avery sends email formally agreeing to three of the 12 Demands. OSAC members vote and deem this response unacceptable and seek a meeting with President Veitch.

November 7 2012 – Professors Dirks, Heldman, and five other members of OSAC meet with President Jonathan Veitch to discuss the 12 Demands. The President agrees to seriously consider all 12 Demands in order to reach a resolution before the Day of Action planned for November 13.

November 7 2012 7:30 PM – OSAC presents the 12 Demands at an ASOC General Assembly meeting about sexual assault. President Veitch, Dean Turenne, and Professor Dirks speak at the assembly.

November 8 2012 – President Veitch Agrees to 10 of the 12 Demands in a lengthy phone call with Professor Heldman with further discussion on two points: location of the Title IX coordinator and the definition of consent. Professor Heldman shares the specifics of the phone conversation with OSAC members who are satisfied with progress on these basic changes.

November 10 2012 – OSAC announces via website that the Day of Action will now be a Day of Celebration given President Veitch’s agreement to 10 out of the 12 Demands.

November 11 2012 – OSAC gives a presentation to the Black Student Alliance (BSA) on the 12 Demands, providing Oxy-specific data and national statistics on sexual violence.

November 13 2012 – Professor Heldman gives a presentation on OSAC and 12 Demands at the Faculty Meeting, publicly thanks President Veitch for accepting 10 of the 12 Demands, and invites faculty to attend the Day of Celebration.

November 13 2012Day of Celebration as campus celebrates President Veitch’s acceptance of 10 of 12 Demands. Over 100 students, faculty, and staff march to celebrate the Administration’s agreement to these basic changes.

November 16 2012 – Professors Dirks and Heldman request a meeting with President Veitch to set the agenda for the third sexual assault task force. President Veitch responds that he wishes to first meet with survivors of sexual assault and consult with college counsel about liability issues.

November 28 2012 – The Occidental Weekly : President Veitch Agrees to Sexual Misconduct Policy Changes “OSAC’s input included a number of good ideas. While there are still a couple of points where further discussion is necessary — specifically, how consent is defined and whether the Title IX coordinator position should once again become a faculty post — everyone at Oxy shares the same goal: creating a safe, caring, respectful environment,” Director of Communications Jim Tranquada said.”

December 4 2012 – Professors Heldman and Dirks request another meeting with President Veitch to set the agenda for the third sexual assault task force.

December 4 2012 – Professor Heldman sends President Veitch requested examples of how other schools (including Yale’s campus-wide alerts) report crimes involving sexual misconduct and violence, and speaks to him on the phone about this and other demands.

December 7 2012 – Professors Dirks and Heldman meet with President Veitch to set the agenda for the most recent incarnation of the sexual assault task force. They agree to have the task force meet before the break, conduct a three year review, and obtain POV and NCHERM training for all task force members. None of these agreements will be upheld.

December 12 2012 – Dean Avery and President Veitch receive a legal document stating ways in which the school has violated Title IX in three different sexual assault cases. President Veitch acknowledges receipt of this “quite lengthy” document.

December 12 2012 – Ms. Magazine : A California College Hopes to Model Best Sexual Assault Policies

December 12 2012 - Huffington Post : Nina Flores: A California College Hopes to Model Best Sexual Assault Policies

December 12 2012 – Survivors of rape/sexual assault at Oxy meet with President Veitch to share their experiences and concerns with the process.

2013

January 4 2013 – Dean Avery announces to the campus community that the Administration will comply with Demand #1, removal of the “automatic appeals” language in the sexual assault policy. By announcing this to the campus, the Administration is also complying with Demand #5, “inform the campus of all changes to the sexual misconduct policy.”

January 15 2013 – President Veitch sends an e-mail to Professors Dirks and Heldman asking for Task Force additional members to meet the two faculty, two students, and two administrators organization.

February 5 2013 – Professor Dirks meets with task force Co-Chair Shelby Radcliffe and President Veitch to discuss the charge of the task force. The President changed the charge from investigation of past cases and the 12 Demands to hearing from different constituencies and researching best practices. In other words, OSAC’s extensive research and evaluation of best practices and other institutions, the basis for the 12 Demands, will not be used.

February 9 2013 – OSAC meets and determines that this third task force will not effectively address extensive problems with Oxy’s sexual assault programming, policies, and procedures given its late start, lack of training, and new charge. OSAC concludes that, whether intentional or not, this task force serves as a delay tactic to get through the spring semester into summer where student enthusiasm around important campus issues goes to die. OSAC members vote in favor of re-starting Clery Act and Title IX fact gathering efforts.

February 12 2013 – Professor Dirks sends Co-Chair Radcliffe the following items for to be distributed to the task force: (1) sexual assault statistics on Oxy’s adjudication process, (2) reworked policy language, (3) reworked procedure language, (4) the Oxy Sexual Assault Matrix, (5) the 12 Demands, (6) the DOJ sexual violence “Dear Colleague” letter, (7) the 2006 Armstrong et al. article on campus rape, (8) the 2007 Sanday article on campus rape, and (9) the Huffington Post and Ms. Magazine article “California College Hopes to Model Best Sexual Assault Policies.” These materials are not sent to the task force. Instead, members are sent links to the current Oxy sexual assault policy, the “Dear Colleague” letter, and the OSAC website.

February 25 2013 – An Oxy student reports a rape by another Oxy student on February 24, 2013 to the Administration.

February 26 2013 – The third sexual assault task force meets for the first time, three months after it was agreed upon. This committee does not receive POV or NCHERM training, and the mission has changed. Task force members include Shelby Radcliffe (Vice President for Institutional Advancement) and Professor Danielle Dirks (Assistant Professor of Sociology), Roberta Dacus (Family Nurse Practitioner, Emmons Health Center), Erica O’Neal Howard (Senior Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator), John Swift (Professor of ECLS and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Student Issues), Hailey Jures (’14) and Aja-Full Sanneh (’13), and Jonathan Veitch (President). Estrella Lucero (‘13) replaces Hailey Jures as the Task Force meetings are scheduled during her class time.

February 27 2013Police Investigating Rape Near Occidental College « CBS Los Angeles

February 28 2013Police Investigating Rape Near Occidental College | KTLA 5

February 28 2013 – After several media reports about the reported sexual assault, Dean Avery sends an email to the campus community about a report of a sexual assault involving two students. Dean Avery writes that no report was sent to students using the campus alert system as the case “was determined not to constitute a continuing threat.”

February 28 2013CBS Los Angeles : Students, Professors Outraged They Weren’t Told Of Rape At Occidental College

March 1 2013 – Approximately 300 students protest in front of Occidental College’s Administrative Offices over Dean Avery’s email and Oxy’s refusal to the use the campus alert system to tell students that a report of sexual assault had been made on February 25, 2013.

March 1 2013LA Times Blog – Occidental College Defends Response to Reported Sexual Assault

March 1 2013Chronicle of Higher Education : Occidental College Defends Response to Reported Sexual Assault

March 4 2013 – Oxy students begin a Change.org Petition | President Jonathan Veitch & Dean Barbara Avery: Any Rapist at Occidental College is a Continuing Threat

March 5 2013 – President Veitch sends email “A Letter to the Campus Community” that demonstrates he is disinclined to believe victims who report rape and calls out Professor Danielle Dirks and an Oxy student who shared her experience as a rape survivor on the local news as “actively seeking to embarrass the College on the evening news.”

In this open letter, President Veitch also states that he only agreed to a conversation about the 12 Demands. This statement is contradicted by the Administration’s stance in the November 28, 2012  Oxy Weekly article “President Veitch agrees to Sexual Misconduct Policy Changes” that only two of the 12 Demands required further discussion.

March 6 2013 – Oxy students begin a “Dear Oxy” Tumblr campaign.

March 6 2013 – OSAC writes an Open Letter to President Veitch that is shared with faculty, staff, and students and on their Facebook and website. On Facebook, it receives over 12,000 insights within the first day of being posted.

March 2013 – OSAC gains 18 additional faculty supporters.

March 5 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : Administration and OSAC Clash Over Campus-Wide Alert System

March 5 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : Letter to the Editor from President Veitch

March 6 2013Rape and Other Crimes: Sexist Policy and Campus Safety » Sociological Images Cross-posted at Ms., The Huffington Post, and BlogHer.

March 6 2013Jezebel.com – Occidental Students Say the College Has a Sexual Assault Problem

March 7 2013 – Oxy Board of Trustee members come to campus in response to the media attention the college is receiving.

March 8 2013USA TODAY Education : Universities Criticized for Sexual Assault responses | USA TODAY College

March 9 2013 – Professors Heldman and Dirks request the Daily Crime Log data from March 2008 – March 2013 from Campus Safety Director Holly Nieto. Within one business day, the data is provided as a hard copy for them in the Campus Safety Office.

March 10 2013Framing the Occidental Fight for a Better Sexual Assault Policy » Sociological Images

March 12 2013 – Occidental’s Daily Crime Log reflects that 15 rapes and sexual batteries were reported between March 5-6 2013 dating back to 2010. It is unclear whether these reports were retroactively sent to the Campus Safety Office from the Dean of Students Office or if these reports were made during this time to the Anonymous Reporting Form. Professors Dirks and Heldman learn that the Dean of Students Office has not been sending sexual assault reports to the Campus Safety Office, as required by federal Clery guidelines. **The Daily Crime Log is later altered to reflect that these were anonymous reports.**

March 12 2013Bitch Magazine: How Not to Handle a College Sexual Assault

March 16 2013 – MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry: Are Elite Universities Participating in Rape Coverup? Occidental College named alongside Yale and U Mass Amherst.

March 17 2013LAist.com – Occidental Students Protest The Way The College Notifies Them (Or Doesn’t) About Rape

March 19 2013Salon – Fighting Sexual Assault on Campus, College Activists Learn as They Go

March 19 2013New York Times – Activists at Colleges Network to Fight Sexual Assault Occidental College is named alongside Yale, U Mass Amherst, and UNC – Chapel Hill. The article directs readers to President Veitch’s “A Letter to the Campus Community,” however the page changes midday, pushing the original letter down while featuring President Veitch’s latest Occidental Weekly article “A Letter to the Editor from President Veitch” wherein he announces a new sexual assault reporting policy that forces survivors (not the College) to make the determination of whether a perpetrator is an “ongoing or continuing threat,” a violation of the federal Clery Act.

March 19 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : Veitch Reverses Stance on Sexual Assault Notification

March 19 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : A Letter to the Editor from President Veitch

March 19 2013 – Faculty Council President Amy Lyford asks faculty to serve as trained members on hearing boards, a request first made in 2009 in response to the Faculty Hearing Board recommendations on sexual assault.

March 19 2013 – Professor Dirks and Shelby Radcliffe, Co-Chairs of the Sexual Assault Task Force, addresses the Faculty Meeting to introduce the task force and answer faculty members’ questions about sexual assault issues on campus.

March 19 2013 – Dean O’Neal Howard tells Professor Dirks that the Dean of Students Office had not been sharing anonymous crime reports with the Campus Safety Office, but began sharing reports from the Anonymous Reporting Form with the Campus Safety Office in the first week of March. Dean O’Neal Howard shares that the 15 rapes and sexual batteries reported in the Daily Crime Log in early March were collected from the Anonymous Reporting Form.

March 19 2013 – Professor Dirks and Shelby Radcliffe, Co-Chairs of the Sexual Assault Task Force, email Dean O’Neal Howard to request that the Anonymous Reporting Form be updated for greater transparency about the difference between first-person and third-party sexual misconduct reports in the “Person Reporting” question to allow both survivors and/or perpetrators more clearly report. The form is not updated.

March 20 2013Slate – Occidental College Sexual Assault Case: How the Internet Revolutionized Campus Anti-Rape Activism

March 20 2013 – President Veitch steps down from the third Sexual Assault Task Force.

March 21 2013 – Sexual Assault Task Force holds a Town Hall meeting where students, faculty, and staff are invited to share their concerns and questions about sexual assault issues on campus both verbally and on notecards. Additional comments are solicited online at the form here.

March 22 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : Sexual Assault Task Force Holds First Town Hall Meeting

March 22 2013 – Professor Dirks emails Dean O’Neal Howard about the Anonymous Reporting Form to send an updated link to the Sexual Misconduct Policy as the current link on the form is dead. The form is not updated.

March 25 2013 – Professor Dirks emails Dean O’Neal Howard about the Anonymous Reporting Form to inform her that sexual assault is misspelled to “assualt.” The form is updated.

March 26 2013 – Professor Dirks emails Associate Dean Tim Chang (and the President’s newly formed “Clery Act Working Group”) and the Sexual Assault Task Force examples of timely and semi-annual sexual misconduct reports from Yale University to demonstrate how Oxy could develop timely warnings and annual sexual misconduct reporting to conform to the federal Clery Act guidelines.

March 28 2013 – The Occidental Weekly : Trainer Out After Sexual Assaults Complaints / Athletic Trainer Resigns Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation

March 28 2013 –  College Counsel Carl Botterud

March 31 2013 – OSAC files an 80-page federal Clery complaint with the Clery Office to request an investigation into Oxy’s routine violations of federal legal requirements to report crimes to the campus community and to prospective students and parents.

April 1 2013 - President Veitch announces that the College has retained Gina Smith, “a nationally recognized expert in sexual misconduct, to review its policies on sexual violence and to offer guidance on improving campus programs addressing these issues.” Her first visit to the College will be April 3-4 2013.

April 2 2013 – Professor Dirks emails Associate Dean Tim Chang (of the President’s newly formed “Clery Act Working Group”) and the Sexual Assault Task Force a process map “Support and Reporting Options” that OSAC developed in August 2012 for ProjectSAFE to share during Orientation with first-year students to help them and other survivors determine their options in the aftermath of a sexual assault. ProjectSAFE did not share the document with first-year students during Orientation.

April 4 2013 – Professors Dirks, Heldman, Mora, Wade and OSAC members meet with attorneys from Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton, Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez, hired by College Counsel, Carl Botterud, to “review Oxy’s sexual assault misconduct.” Among other ideas, the group recommends to Smith and Gomez that Oxy should conduct a “truth and reconciliation commission” to focus on the healing of the entire community by seeking to understand and publicly address the forces and actors that have produced the College’s routine mishandling of sexual assault and misconduct. During this meeting, Smith and Gomez share that they have no implementation powers to enact any of the recommendations they will presumably make to the College while they are being retained.

April 12 2013 – Professors Heldman and Dirks file a formal complaint against College Counsel Carl Botterud for his direct role in creating a hostile environment as retaliation for speaking publicly about sexual assault issues on Oxy’s campus.

April 16 2013 – Oxy Faculty Council holds a hearing to question College Counsel Carl Botterud on his role and actions related to the mishandling of sexual assault cases, the badgering of survivors on campus, and his calling (with Assistant Athletic Director Brian Newhall) a mandatory meeting of 20 male athletes (two from each men’s athletic team) to “serve as a counter to OSAC,” a group Botterud and Newhall are said to claim are “vilifying young men on campus.”

April 18 2013 – Oxy Faculty Council holds a hearing to question Dean of Students Barbara Avery and President Jonathan Veitch about Dean Avery’s mishandling of sexual assault cases and College Counsel Carl Botterud’s role in creating a hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff (in addition to his mishandling of sexual assault cases).

April 18 2013 – OSAC files a 250-page federal complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education on behalf of 37 students, faculty, and staff to request an outside investigation into Oxy’s routine mishandling of sexual assault issues.

April 18 2013 – Gloria Allred, leading US civil rights attorney, holds a press conference with over 20 Oxy students, alumni, faculty, and parents to announce the submission of the 250-page federal complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.

April 19 2013 – OSAC and OMAR (Oxy Men Against Rape) hold a Sleepover for Sexual Assault Awareness in the Academic Quad during Founders Day Weekend. Over 100 students, parents, and faculty attend.

April 20 2013 – OSAC and students organize a candlelight vigil for survivors of rape and sexual assault at the end of dinner during Founders Day Weekend. Over 70 students, staff, and faculty attend.

April 23 2013 – Professors Dirks, Heldman, and Wade meet with attorneys Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez from Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton. Smith and Gomez relay to Dirks, Heldman, and Wade that they have never made recommendations to remove personnel and will not make that recommendation at Oxy.

April 23 2013 – Oxy Faculty Council holds a meeting with attorneys Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez from Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton.

April 30 2013 – Professors Heldman and Dirks have a telephone conversation with Attorneys Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez from Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton prior to their sending out their recommendations to Oxy.

May 1 2013 – Attorneys Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez from Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton send their preliminary report to President Jonathan Veitch, outlining their recommendations. Of the 17 recommendations, 16 had been given to the administrators by OSAC in May and November 2012.

May 1 2013 – 135 members of Oxy’s faculty sign a resolution in support of Oxy students regarding sexual assault issues.

May 6 2013 – 94 members of Oxy’s  staff and administrators sign a resolution in support of Oxy students regarding sexual assault issues.

May 7 2013 – Oxy faculty members vote “no confidence” for Dean of Students Barbara Avery (65 Yes, 9 No, 6 Abstain) and College Counsel Carl Botterud (70 Yes, 6 No, 4 Abstain).

May 8 2013 – The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights announces it is opening an investigation of Occidental College, the fastest investigation decision in Title IX history.

May 10 2013 – The Oxy Community Against Sexual Assault (OCASA) signs a resolution in support of Oxy students, faculty, and staff filing federal complaints and demands Oxy’s administration begin to make change with regard to sexual assault issues.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 881 other followers