The College sent a campus-wide email on October 2 to share proposed changes to the Sexual Misconduct Policy and request feedback from students. Many of the proposed changes will make Bowdoin compliant with new requirements created by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, including broadening the definition of gender-based violence to include dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Bowdoin has been progressive in providing resources for sexual assault survivors, and was among the first of its peer schools to create a gender violence and education position.

As strong as Bowdoin’s policies are, the College still needs to create an online portal that students can use to anonymously submit reports of sexual misconduct. There are currently five boxes on campus in which students can anonymously drop reports of sexual misconduct. We commend the College for providing a number of reporting options, but recognize that dropping a form into a box is itself an act of courage that could be a barrier for some victims of sexual misconduct.

According to Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, the administration is in the process of developing an anonymous online reporting system. We fully support the College in this initiative. For survivors, reporting sexual misconduct remotely might feel safer and more private than delivering a report to a physical box and we have an obligation to make the reporting process as uncomplicated as possible.

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Garrett Casey, Ron Cervantes, Sam Miller, Leo Shaw and Kate Witteman.