We, as a campus, owe a lot of people a lot of thanks. For a while now, Carleton has recognized that while there are many things we do well, there are some that we need to improve upon. This fall, one of those much needed improvements has been realized. It is the revamped, redone, ridiculously better sexual misconduct policy and procedure. The hours upon hours that went into the new policy are so crucial for Carleton to be able to move forward as a community that deals productively with sexual violence. Whether or not you’re directly impacted by the policy changes, this policy indicates an important social change on campus. We’re moving toward a community that supports, in whatever way possible, any and every one’s experiences. Even more than that, we’re on our way to becoming a campus that refuses to silence sexual violence survivors, supporters and listeners.
We would like to thank everyone who lent support, time and energy to this process. Here are some names (though it's certainly hard to list all the great people who have contributed):
The 2009-10 Review Committee: Julie Thornton, Amy Sillanpa, Bill North (faculty), Angela Curran (faculty), Jean Sherwin (staff), Julia Walther '10, Mike Stevens '10, and Devin Daugherty ‘ 11.
The Implementation Team (that met all of this summer and worked to make the recommendations become reality): Julie Thornton, Amy Sillanpa, Kaaren Williamsen, Joanne Mullen, Marit Lysne, Cathy Carlson, Joe Baggot, Hudlin Wagner, Chloe Coenen, and Heather Campbell.
There is no way to adequately thank the people who supported the process. We would like to particularly acknowledge Heather Campbell ‘10. She was hired to implement and educate Carleton on the new policy, and essentially determine the shape it would take. Heather is phenomenal not only because of her work, but because she realizes this is a continuous battle. It does not end with the new policy. She recently wrote an email thanking supporters, and said the following.
I believe Carleton will keep trying. Expanding and improving our sexual misconduct prevention and response will require more of the same activism, support, and collaboration we have benefited from so far. It may also require money; my implementation and education support position will cease to exist at the end of this year, but the work won’t go away, nor will the work of professional staff and students who have taken on extra time and tasks to make these changes happen.
While we owe tremendous thanks to Heather and everyone who supported the policy changes, we also must recognize that this is by no means a “solution” to sexual violence. Because the reality is that these things still happen here. They happen at Carleton, a place many of us consider to be a second home, i
n Northfield, where major crimes consist of jaywalking, and in Minnesota, a state that has a phenomenal sexual violence prevention system statewide. Despite all of this, terrible, unspeakable acts of sexual violence are still happening. Be aware of this. Know that the new policy doesn’t fix this. That part is up to the rest of us.
-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian editors.