Less than an hour after President Crutcher addressed the university community for the first time, Mia Reinoso Genoni, dean of Westhampton College, sent an email to Westhampton students announcing a call for change. Though Genoni was referencing a call for change regarding sexual assault and misconduct methods and prevention efforts on campus, Genoni also announced a change in plans for an event involving Westhampton freshmen and seniors — Proclamation Night.
Proclamation Night is an annual event held for senior women to reflect on their four years as Westhampton women, as freshmen sign the honor code and become official members of the University of Richmond community.
Genoni credited the change in plans to a lack of time on the administration's end, citing an inability to send out email reminders in light of a hectic few days. "We would also like the opportunity for our community to have some time to process and begin to heal," she said. No new date for the ceremony has been announced.
"I'm a little disappointed," Dani Sanchez, a Westhampton College senior said. "At the same time I think it's a really great step. It shows the administration is taking this seriously, it shows that they're putting the things that are important right now in front of the the things that aren't. Proclamation Night happens every year but a crisis like this doesn't."
In addition to the change in Proclamation Night plans, Genoni ensured students that the university is committed to filling Beth Curry's former position as Coordinator for Sexual Misconduct Education and Advocacy. The dean also apologized for the pain caused by the administration earlier in the week, writing, "I would like to start by saying that I am truly and deeply sorry for the pain I have caused you."
Genoni included her goals as the new dean for Westhampton College referencing a "focus on inclusivity, examinations of bias and of gender, power, and identity, and working on Title IX and sexual misconduct issues."
Genoni concluded her email with a call to action for students asking them to share their ideas and suggestions with the Westhampton community on Monday, Sept., 12 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. in Keller Hall. Entitled the "Westhampton College Call for Change Gathering," the forum will offer students, alumni and others the chance to work to "move forward."
Richmond college will be hosting a similar event for Richmond College students on Monday afternoon.
To read her full email, click here.
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