Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster wrote in a campus-wide email on Wednesday that the College is creating the position of Director for Gender Violence Education and Prevention. According to Meadow Davis, associate director of student affairs and adviser to the Student Sexual Misconduct Board, this new director will advise the student groups that deal with these issues and work one-on-one with students who come forward with complaints. Th e establishment of this position comes at a time when many of our peer institutions have come under fire for their treatment of
sexual assault violations and allegations.
Most notably, Amherst’s procedure for responding to accusations of sexual assault came into the national spotlight in October 2012 when former student Angie Epifano penned an op-ed in the Amherst Student revealing how poorly Amherst had responded to her report of sexual violence. Dartmouth—which has also incurred heavy criticism for its handling of sexual assault cases—announced last week that it is creating a campus center for the prevention of sexual assault and violence.
Although Bowdoin has not come under the same scrutiny as Amherst or Dartmouth, its handling of sexual assault cases has not totally escaped criticism. In 2010, the Center for Public Integrity reported on the case of a Bowdoin student, to whom it gave the pseudonym Ariel Brown, who alleged that she was raped by a male student in December 2007. The College found the male guilty of sexual assault, not rape, a decision which Brown found inadequate. Her testimony is proof enough that there is always room for improvement.
We believe that Bowdoin students currently have many outstanding resources in the event of sexual misconduct, but by creating this position the College affirms its commitment to addressing these issues thoroughly and effectively.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial
board, which is comprised of Erica Berry, Nora Biette-Timmons, Garrett Casey,
Ron Cervantes, Marisa McGarry, Sam Miller and Kate Witteman.