The following email was sent to Barnard students. 

Dear Barnard Students,

Today, U.S. Department of Education announced the release of interim guidance for colleges and universities on how to investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus while the department is developing new regulations and collecting feedback from those affected.  

In effect, the announcement rescinds prior guidance from the Obama administration, and provides the following interim guidance:

  • Standard of evidence: Colleges/universities must use the same standard of evidence in adjudicating Title IX cases as they do in other disciplinary matters. Findings of fact and conclusions may be reached by applying either a preponderance of the evidence standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard.  
  • Timeline: While colleges/universities are expected to respond promptly, they are no longer required to conclude investigations and come to resolutions in 60 days in cases of sexual misconduct on campus.
  • Mediation/Informal Resolution: Colleges/universities may now provide mediation or informal resolution in cases of sexual misconduct on campus.

Please be assured that Barnard College remains strongly committed to providing a safe environment that is free from violence.  We will continue to respond promptly and thoroughly to reports of sexual assault and misconduct.

Additionally, it’s important to note that Barnard College and all other colleges and universities in New York state will continue to follow the state regulations, which are the strictest in the nation and continue to be stronger than federal regulations.  We do not anticipate state law will change.

We would also like to remind you again of the resources available on campus and encourage you to seek support as needed.

Resources include:

Please also feel free to consult the College's Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment and related procedures.

Additionally, on Monday at 8 p.m., SGA's Rep Council meeting, hosted in the Student Dining Room of The Diana Center, will include a presentation about Title IX, Being Barnard, Take Back the Night and Sexual Violence Response.

We know these issues are of great concern to individuals here at Barnard, as they are at colleges and universities across the nation. In the coming months, we will continue to keep our community informed as the U.S. Department of Education assesses and releases new guidance.


Avis Hinkson
Dean of the College

Molree Williams-Lendor
Executive Director for Equity
Title IX Coordinator