April 20, 2020

Campus Sexual Assault Teleconference Series: A Civil Rights Perspective

About the Webinar Series

In early 2016, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice's Rights of  Women Committee hosted a six-part teleconference series addressing the many issues tied to campus sexual assault, particularly with a civil rights perspective. See below for additional information and recordings of each of the programs.

Co-Sponsored By:

Entire series moderated by: Kristen M. Galles, Title IX litigator and Section Council member

PART 1: The Problem

Thursday, January 7, 2016
Part 1 - Campus Sexual Assault: The Problem

This program explores the breadth of the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, including such questions as: What does the data show? What are the holes in the data? Why are freshman women especially vulnerable? Who are the perpetrators? Is there a rape culture on campus? Why do so few women report assaults? Why have schools been slow to respond? What are the consequences for women's education and the rest of their lives?

Speakers include:

  • Jennifer Freyd, Professor, University of Oregon
  • Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, Deputy Director for Youth Power and Strategic Partnerships, Know Your IX

PART 2: Not Just a Crime

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Part 2 - Campus Sexual Assault: Not Just a Crime

This program focuses on the civil rights implications of campus sexual assault. Sexual assault is not just a crime. It is also an extreme form of sex harassment. Just as employers must rid workplaces of sexual harassment, colleges must rid their campuses of it so that women receive equal access to education. What does the law say about it? Why is it so important that schools address the issue and that women have reporting options besides the police?

Speakers include:

  • Nancy Cantalupo, Assistant Professor, Barry University - Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
  • Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women's Law Center
  • Laura Egan, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Clery Center for Security on Campus

PART 3: The Government Response

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Part 3 - Campus Sexual Assault: The Government Response

This program focuses on how the federal government is responding to the problem of campus sexual assault. The Department of Education issued a 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter that reminded schools of their Title IX obligations to provide students with environments free of sexual harassment and assault. Congress responded by adding the Campus Save Act to the Violence Against Women Act. How are these laws being implemented? How is the Office for Civil Rights enforcing the new guidance? How many schools are under investigation? How is OCR resolving the complaints? How do survivors and their lawyers experience the administrative process? What could improve that process?

Speakers include:

  • Jessie Brown, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
  • Ashley Higgins, U.S. Department of Education, Campus Save
  • Cari Simon, Fierberg National Law Group

PART 4: What are schools doing (or not doing) about it?

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Part 4 - Campus Sexual Assault: What are schools doing (or not doing) about it?

This program explores what schools are doing about campus sexual assault. How are schools responding to new public and government scrutiny? How are they implementing new laws and guidance? How do they handle survivor complaints? What kinds of "best practices" are being developed? What should schools be doing to tackle the problem?

Speakers include:

  • Catherine Carroll, Title IX Coordinator, University of Maryland
  • Laura Dunn, Executive Director, SurvJustice
  • Brett Sokolow, Founder, National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) 

PART 5: The Role of Courts

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Part 5 - Campus Sexual Assault: The Role of Courts

This program explores the legal claims survivors of sexual assault have against their schools, how courts are applying existing law, and what kinds of remedies are available. The program also examines how the legal standards for sexual harassment/assault under Title IX differ from those of Title VII and whether reform is necessary to hold schools accountable.

Speakers include:

  • Adele Kimmel, Senior Attorney, Public Justice
  • John Clune, Of Counsel, Hutchinson Black & Cook
  • Nancy Hogshead-Makar, CEO, Champion Women; Olympic champion; Former tenured professor of law 

PART 6: Next Steps

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Part 6 - Campus Sexual Assault: Next Steps

This program explores what can and should be done to address campus sexual assault. From new legislation to better education of students and educators, the program explores how social science and the law can work together to combat this national epidemic.

Speakers include:

  • Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative (D – Cal. – 14th District)
  • Lisa Maatz, Vice President, Government Relations, American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • Victoria Baynard, Professor, University of New Hampshire