Campus leaders announced a change in sexual misconduct policy on Monday.
According to this year's student handbook, the policy was previously defined as, "non-consensual contact of a sexual nature and includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, rape, harassment, or stalking."
Deans Joseph Boehman and Juliette Landphair of Richmond and Westhampton colleges respectively, sent out emails Monday afternoon to students describing a new definition of misconduct.
"Violence between those in an intimate relationship, and in some cases hazing" were included as changes to the original definition. The word rape was excluded in the new version, and "sexual exploitation" added.
The changes are part of an effort to improve responses and resources for sexual misconduct, which was suggested in large campaign from the Department of Education in April.
The department issued a letter providing colleges guidance for Title IX and misconduct.
"Many people believe that Title IX relates primarily to gender equity in sports," the email stated, "but it actually covers all campus programs. In essence, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance."
Students and staff members are required to report instances of sexual misconduct, the emails stated, except for some student health center and office of religion staff. All reports will now be submitted to deputy Title IX coordinators, Deans Dan Fabian and Kerry Fankhauser. Before the change, students could report sexual misconduct to any dean on campus.
Contact staff writer Keon Monroe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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