New Assault Policy Reaches General Counsel
Revisions to The New School's new sexual assault policy have overcome another hurdle on the way to consideration by the board of trustees. After weeks of revisions by the Feminist Collective, student health services, and student and campus life, the document is now under review by the office of the general counsel.
Thus far the administration, while chopping down the length of the policy considerably, has retained what's been termed "the cornerstone" of their proposed revisions - the definition of consent. With its submission to the office of Roy Moskowitz, The New School's chief legal officer, it now remains to be seen whether the new guidelines are deemed legally justifiable by the university.
Students from the Feminist Collective have been at work on updating The New School's sexual assault policy since October, cooperating with administrators to change many aspects of what they consider a flawed existing policy. Earlier this month, they submitted a 20-page draft to the office of Senior Vice President for Student Services Linda Reimer, which was then edited down to five pages.
Tom McDonald, assistant vice president of student and campus life, said that revisions and edits to the draft have been sent on to the general counsel for further review, with the next step in the process being approval by the board of trustees.
"The sexual assault policy is under review by student services and the general counsel," McDonald told the Free Press in an e-mail.
The office of the general counsel said they did not feel the need to comment about their work on the new policy until the process had been completed.
Feminist Collective member Suzanne Exposito, a Lang literary studies senior, said the student group has taken care to review the administration's five-page revision to the original draft, noting how they believe it could be further strengthened.
Exposito added that the Feminist Collective had only recently heard back from Tracy Robin, assistant vice president for student health and support services, regarding the administration's response to their notes and suggestions. She said the collective had not yet had an opportunity to go through the details of the response.
The Feminist Collective and student services had originally teamed up to work on a new sexual assault policy after mutually identifying shortcomings in the existing guidelines. Pending the new policy's passage through all required obstacles, students and administrators hope it will come into effect before the start of the 2011-12 academic year.