The following message was sent to Barnard students on November 16, 2018:
Dear Barnard Students,
This morning the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of proposed regulations that govern how colleges and universities investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. These proposed rules come after the interim guidance issued in September 2017 on the same subject.
It is important to note that Barnard College and all other colleges and universities in New York state will continue to follow the state laws and regulations, which are the strictest in the nation and continue to be stronger than federal regulations. We do not anticipate state law will change.
If implemented, the U.S. Department of Education rules would require schools to include some protections that Barnard has long considered integral in providing a fair and equitable process -- for example, the right for a party to be accompanied by an advisor of choice and an equal opportunity for all parties to review an investigative report before it is finalized. However, there are some provisions of the proposed rules that are not currently part of Barnard procedures. For example, the proposed rules require a live hearing to formally adjudicate complaints of sex discrimination, including sexual assault. At this time, Barnard's procedures do not include a live hearing.
The College will continue to track the progress of these proposed rules, and once they are finalized, will work to ensure that our policies are consistent with both state law and federal regulations.
Please be assured that Barnard College remains strongly committed to providing a safe environment that is free from violence. As always, we will respond promptly and thoroughly to reports of sexual assault and misconduct.
We would also like to remind you again of the resources available on campus and encourage you to seek support as needed.Resources include:
- Title IX & Equity Office
- Being Barnard
- Furman Counseling Center
- Primary Care Health Services
- Dean of Studies Office
Please also feel free to consult the College's Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment and related procedures.
Issues of sexual assault and misconduct are of great concern to all of us in the Barnard community. In the coming months, we will keep you informed as we learn more.Sincerely,
Co-Interim Dean of the College
Co-interim Dean of the College
Executive Director for Equity
Title IX Coordinator