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Title IX campus updates

Nov. 2, 2018

Dear campus community:
With the support of President Bahls, the board of trustees, members of the Task Force for Sexual Assault Response and Prevention, and other involved members of our campus, the Task Force has achieved its primary goals and will conclude at the end of this term.
Over the past six months, this team of faculty, students, staff and administrators has worked to not only educate ourselves on the issues surrounding sexual assault on college campuses, but help educate others and make informed recommendations that best serve our community. Many of the members of the task force will continue fulfilling other related roles in existing committees, including the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee, +Impact and the Student Advisory Committee. 
Thank you to everyone who has worked, and will continue working, to make this campus a leader in sexual assault response and prevention. Please see the latest updates below.
Task Force

Jennifer Popple, Sheri Curran, and Emilee Goad presented the work that has been completed and ongoing projects to the board of trustees at their annual fall meeting. The Task Force is working with SGA to plan opportunities to speak with members of the broader Augustana community during winter term.
Title IX

The team has completed a transition of duties to allow Associate Dean Laura Schnack to serve in a case management capacity. Additional investigators have been trained and the team continues to refine an FAQ document and look for ways to improve communication. Initial meetings with leaders of the Student Advisory Committee have been productive with ideas on how they can effectively work together in the future.
Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee (SHVP)

The Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee recently distributed table tents in the CSL and Brew to provide students with information on how they can get involved in efforts pertaining to sexual assault prevention and education. The committee is continuing to work on education programming about sexual health and healthy relationships. The committee is also going to include a Winter Symposium Day session on human trafficking. Lastly, the committee is focused on building a peer-to-peer educator group on campus. If you are interested, please look for upcoming information on a Mentors in Violence Prevention: Train the Trainer event during winter term. 
Student Advisory Committee to Title IX and SHVP

The Student Advisory Committee now stands at 25 students. They introduced themselves to most Greek groups, some student clubs, the Title IX team and other administrators on campus. They have also advised the Title IX team on the new faculty Title IX policy, which the committee affirms is an effective model for our community. The committee will be hosting open office hours next term so students can get to know them, ask questions about Title IX and how it functions at Augustana.   

Members of CAST are continuing to work with Emilee Goad to implement peer educators on campus and eventually to reserve a space where students can receive information regarding available resources from trained student victim advocates.  

Task Force on Sexual Assault, Dr. Jennifer Popple, Chair

Sept. 21, 2018

Dear campus community,

Before we update you on the latest work, we want to respond to something that's been in the media recently. You may have heard that some media have reported leaked proposed updates to federal Title IX regulations. We have seen the articles and understand the concern and confusion but it's important to know the Department of Education (DOE) has not officially released any updates at this time. Here is a general overview of how the process will work once they are released: First, once the DOE publishes initial proposed updates, colleges and universities will be given time to review and provide feedback. During this "review and comment" time, we will update the campus community and let you know how to add your voices to the response. The DOE will review the feedback, make revisions and release the final regulations. Schools will then be given a grace period to implement.

We want to be perfectly clear that in no way does this impact the work we are doing. We will continue ensuring Augustana has the best programs and policies regardless of what federal regulation may propose. We should also note that the state of Illinois has regulations in place that may go above and beyond federal regulation and we will of course remain in compliance with our state laws.

Task Force

The Task Force will complete its work next month. The various teams and committees that remain will take up the work recommended by the Task Force. Jennifer Popple, chair of the task force, joined the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee in August. In addition, the student advisory committee will transition their role from the task force to advisory to the Title IX team and Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee. They are preparing to become a standing group and developing an application for new prospective members which will be distributed next month. For more information, email the co-chairs: Abigail Roseleib or Kaylee Sye.

Title IX

The Title IX team has compiled a short list of FAQs which are being shared with the Task Force’s student advisory committee for feedback. Once completed, the FAQs will be posted to the college’s website.

An email has been sent to faculty advising them that the current faculty policies are being updated based on the recommendations from the Task Force. The policy overall is in good standing and revisions are largely around clarifying language to provide better guidance to faculty about their role and responsibility.

Director of Student Well-Being

After an initial search, we have not yet found a candidate to fulfill this role. We will continue the search process until one can be found.


The Campus Advocacy Support Team (CAST), working with Drs. Alex Cohen and Lena Hann, submitted a proposal at the end of spring term; the proposal was positively received by President Bahls and the inaugural group has begun working with Emilee Goad. CAST members as well as some other student leaders and faculty will attend a bystander training seminar this Symposium Day to become trained bystander intervention educators. This will allow students to provide informed peer education to other campus groups. Next term, CAST will work on creating a survey or focus group to assess interest in a student advocacy group on campus.

Symposium Day

The upcoming Symposium Day on Sept. 27 will feature engaging opportunities to learn and be challenged. Of note are the sessions "Ranking Relationships: How to Spot a Winner" led by Augustana NAMI in collaboration with Family Resources and the opportunity to make a T-shirt for the upcoming Clothesline Project on campus.

Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee

The Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee members are creating handouts which will be available across campus sharing how students can get involved. These are in development and will be available soon.

Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

-- Task Force on Sexual Assault
Dr. Jennifer Popple, Chair
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Women's and Gender Studies

Aug. 24, 2018

Welcome, students, both new and returning. We hope you enjoyed a fulfilling summer. When we last emailed the campus community at the close of the school year, we shared several updates on our evolving approach to sexual assault response, including some of our goals for the summer and into fall. This email is to update you on what we've accomplished so far and what next steps are.

Title IX team changes

Dr. Jessica Schultz has been appointed to associate dean and deputy Title IX coordinator. Dr. Schultz has been part of the sexual health and violence prevention committee and will continue liaising in her new role. She will take over responsibility from Dr. Hilton-Morrow on training faculty on Title IX.

Laura Schnack, associate dean and Title IX coordinator, will have new duties on the team. Beginning immediately, she will continue to serve as a case manager and will no longer have a direct role in the investigation process for student matters. Her new role will be assisting students in understanding options, accessing support, and managing cases from first report to resolution.

Tom Phillis, chief of police, will lead all investigations and work with newly trained investigators who will share these duties.

Task force on sexual assault response and prevention

The Task Force and Student Advisory Committee will reconvene Week 2. Our first tasks on the Task Force will include a discussion of work undertaken over the summer, talking about the results from the end-of-year community survey, and identifying tasks for the remainder of the term.

Sexual health and violence prevention coordinator

This summer, Emilee Goad worked closely with the Office of Student Life to get more involved in and assist Peer Mentors and First Year students during the Speak About It series for Welcome Week. Emilee also assisted the Office of Residential Life by meeting new staff, and training CAs and new staff on how to handle disclosures from students. The Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee is assisting with the Task Force proposal and working to get more student involvement this year. Education on campus this year will focus on consent and the characteristics of a healthy relationship.

Emilee has also been working on a peer educator program. There will be an event on campus this fall to assist with getting students and some faculty trained in the program. Her goal is to get a dedicated group of students who want to take the lead on having discussions with their peers on how to not only identify a potentially dangerous situation and know how to intervene, but also to focus on what a healthy relationship looks like. If you are interested in getting involved with peer education work, email Emilee at

Students are welcome to visit Emilee for conversation or in her role as a confidential resource in her office located in Sorensen 254 on Mondays from 1:30-3 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Director of student well-being

We are in the process of interviewing candidates to fill this newly created role.

The director of student well-being will work with the campus community to provide education and programming on a wide variety of issues including healthy relationships, suicide prevention, alcohol usage and stress reduction. Additionally, this position will look to develop a peer health education program to engage in this work. We hope to select a final candidate by September 1st with a start date as soon as practical.

Speak About It

Speak About It is the educational program Augustana uses for first-year students to talk about healthy relationships and consent. This year, the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee attended the event to introduce themselves to first year students. Emilee Goad was also able to present as a confidential resource if students wanted someone to talk to. The committee attended the Peer Mentor training that is included in the Speak About It program to remind those students of on and off campus resources for survivors and how to handle disclosures if they come up in their group discussions after the program.

Mentors in Violence Prevention

Mentors in Violence Prevention (created by Jackson Katz in 1993) is a multi-racial, mixed gender leadership program focused on preventing all forms of gender-based violence. MVP uses a unique bystander approach that does not view men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, or women as victims/survivors or potential victims. MVP views all participants as potential bystanders who can be empowered to confront abusive incidents involving peers. Through the discussions, the goal is to provide concrete tools for confronting, interrupting and preventing this violence. The program is based on the belief that the more options a person has available to them, the less likely they are to choose violence or do nothing.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to any of the people listed in this email at their personal email addresses.

-- Task Force on Sexual Assault
Dr. Jennifer Popple, Chair
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Women's and Gender Studies

May 18, 2018

Dear campus community:

Over the past 10 weeks, the Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention has been reading, researching, discussing and learning. We want to share with campus that Husch-Blackwell, the third-party law firm hired to help us review our policies, completed their report and stated the following:

"In general, we conclude that Augustana has drafted and implemented a student-focused Title IX Policy on Sex Discrimination and Sexual Violence and related Policy Against Sex Discrimination, including Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, and Other Interpersonal Misconduct with the intention of preventing sexual misconduct and addressing reports of sexual misconduct. Augustana should be commended for its efforts to prevent and redress sexual misconduct. Broadly speaking, the College has implemented a robust policy to address all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual violence."

However, the task force members know there is room for improvement and we want to be at the forefront of response and prevention. Based on the task force's work, the task force committee and community feedback, we are making several recommendations which have been endorsed by President Bahls. It's important to note that there will be several things that can be implemented quickly, while others may take more time or may be ongoing.

Here are some of the initial recommendations:

1) Internal work should be done to see how implementation impacts those the policy intends to serve.

2) Internal analysis on culture and climate should also be undertaken, asking the questions: Where are our weak points? Areas of improvement? Places where a culture that fosters misconduct and violence need to be dismantled? 

3) Build capacity to focus on education and foundation work, for example, hiring a director of student wellness.

4) Ongoing assessment for improvement, in partnership with the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention coordinator.

5) Transparency and communication — creating more frequent and/or student-centric summaries, including, but not limited to, updates to the Title IX web page.

6) Foster student leadership and involvement, enabling and promoting student involvement in the response and prevention of sexual misconduct.

This is not a conclusive list, though it highlights some broad areas of focus. This list provides us a framework for some immediate things that can begin this summer and into the fall term. 

Thank you to each of the members of the task force: Dr. Scott Gehler, Dr. Carrie Hough, Dr. Eric Stewart, Liesl Fowler, Michael Rogers, Ariel Rogers, Emilee Goad, Dr. Monica Smith, Anna Pfalzgraf, Kailtyn Watkins, Ravi Patel, Jaime McLean, and Sheri Curran. Our work is not done, but it is on track, and we are proud of the way the community has worked together to make Augustana an even better place. 

Task Force on Sexual Assault
Dr. Jennifer Popple, Chair

May 2, 2018

Dear campus community,

We want to thank all of you for your continued interest and desire to tackle the difficult and complex issue of sexual misconduct. What sprung from frustration, hurt and confusion is a campus that has come together for solutions, and we are grateful for the progress that's been made and what will come as a result of this work. The Task Force will provide you with a summary of our recommendations based on feedback from the campus community and the Husch-Blackwell policy report by the end of the academic year.

We want to assure everyone that the work is not ending and this will be a busy summer of reviews, implementation and discussions around next steps. Please feel free to continue reaching out to me, or any of the individuals on campus who are here to provide support. 

Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

The Husch-Blackwell report on Title IX policies was received April 25. The Task Force will review the report and develop recommendations based on their analysis.  

The Student Advisory committee, made up of 20 students, has been meeting weekly since Week 6. They will submit their year-end report of suggestions, concerns and needs before finals week to the Task Force.

The Task Force launched an anonymous survey Week 8 in order to get additional community feedback. The survey will remain open until the end of Week 9 so if you have not yet responded, please do so at the link below. We want to gather as many responses as possible. The data will be confidentially analyzed and compiled in order to determine top priorities. 

Invitation to Provide Anonymous Feedback on Title IX and Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

In addition to the year-end community update, the Task Force will submit its final report to President Bahls, which will include the campus survey responses, Student Advisory Committee report and Husch-Blackwell report, by the end of the school year.

Campus Victim Advocacy Working Group

The Campus Victim Advocacy Working Group has drafted a proposal recommending Augustana consider implementing a campus victim advocacy program. This proposal is currently being reviewed by the Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention, Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee and Emilee Goad, interim sexual health and violence prevention coordinator, who will provide feedback. A final proposal will then be shared with President Bahls by the end of the academic year for review.

Emilee Goad, Interim Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator

Outside of the work the Task Force has done, Emilee brought the Start By Believing campaign to campus which had great student involvement. The campus also participated in Denim Day to raise awareness for sexual assault. Students, faculty and staff participated by learning why Denim Day was created and wore stickers in support on April 25th. Research on evidence-based prevention and education programs will continue in order to improve the work already established on campus.

Clery Reports

The college will be posting a set of guidelines clarifying under what circumstances the college is required to send notifications to the community related to emergencies and other threats. This will also include guidelines on voluntary notices that the college will send related to campus safety, even when not required by Clery.

Task Force on Sexual Assault 

Dr. Jennifer Popple, Chair

April 3, 2018

Dear Campus Community,

Since last month's update message to campus, various groups have been meeting on a weekly basis and moving through the timelines established to ensure progress is made. Please see the updates below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me, or any of the faculty/staff named below. 

Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator

Emilee Goad, a counselor who specializes in working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, has begun work as the interim Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator. She is working in partnership through SafePath Survivor Resources of Family Resources. As part of President Bahls' charge, she is focusing on looking into Augustana's current bystander intervention program to see what opportunities there are to improve or add to it. She is also part of the Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention. Please feel free to visit her in Sorensen 254 or email her.

Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

The Task Force has chosen Husch-Blackwell to analyze Augustana's Title IX policies and procedures. Their report will be submitted by May 1

The Task Force developed a framework and sign-up for the student advisory committee, which was emailed out to all students last Thursday. Applications are due this Thursday, April 5 by 5:00 p.m. The students chosen by the task force for the committee will be invited to the initial training by Husch-Blackwell on Title IX and will meet weekly beginning Week 6, with their work continuing into the 2018-2019 academic year. 

The Task Force is also developing an anonymous, open ended survey, to be sent out to all students, faculty and staff, in order to gain more input on questions, concerns and needs regarding Title IX, and response and prevention efforts surrounding sexual assault. This survey is being finalized and will be sent out in the near future. 

The Task Force welcomed two new members: Dr. Monica Smith, the new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as Jaime McLean '18, who will provide administrative support.

Campus Victim Advocacy Working Group

The Campus Victim Advocacy Working Group, which consists of two faculty members, Dr. Lena Hann and Dr. Alex Cohen, and six students, has assembled a comparison of 20 peer institutions' victim advocacy programs. The group is currently evaluating best practices at those schools within relevant literature about victim advocates on college campuses. The next step will be to draft a proposal to share with the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee, Title IX team, and the Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention before preparing a final proposal.

Jennifer Popple
Jennifer E. Popple, PhD.
Theatre and Women & Gender Studies
Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

March 9, 2018

Dear campus community,

Work has begun on the various initiatives set forth in February to address issues around sexual assault on campus. To keep you updated, I will share updates monthly for the remainder of the academic year. We are grateful for the many people involved in these processes and groups, and everyone across campus, who is dedicating their time and making a concentrated effort toward creating a better Augustana. 

Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator

Emilee Goad, a 2011 Augustana graduate who has been working with Family Resources Inc., has accepted the role as interim Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator. 

Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

The Task Force met for the first time this week. The first step for the group will be to choose a nationally ranked law firm to help us analyze our Title IX policies and procedures. The Task Force will also be investigating other best practices in campus climate, prevention, and short and long term support for survivors. Emilee Goad will be joining the Task Force beginning with our Week 2 meeting. 

The Task Force also discussed the Student Advisory Committee, which will be headed by +Impact and made up of students who represent different constituencies on campus. A student member of the Task Force will serve as a liaison to that advisory committee, which will be forming over the next couple of weeks.  

Student Advocacy Group

The student advocacy group has an official name – the Campus Victim Advocacy Working Group. The group has its first meeting this afternoon. Dr. Alex Cohen is co-advising the process with Dr. Lena Hann.
Please contact any of the members of the Task Force if you have questions or items you would like discussed at upcoming meetings. 

Jennifer Popple
Jennifer E. Popple, PhD.
Theatre and Women & Gender Studies
Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Feb. 13, 2018

Dear campus community,

This email is to provide both an update and express gratitude. Many people have mobilized to begin moving forward on the many charges and initiatives that have been discussed over the past couple of weeks. While much work has begun, there is still more on the horizon. Thank you to everyone for your efforts.

Task force

The task force charge is available on the Augustana website. Dr. Jennifer Popple has been named as the faculty chair of the task force. Names of appointees have been added.

The task force will have its first meeting during week 1 of spring term. At that time, the process of selecting an expert firm to review our policies and implementation will begin. The advisory panel to the task force is still being assembled and seeks to have a broad range of representation from various on-campus groups.

Clery Act

The college’s general counsel has been asked to review our policies and procedures related to the Clery Act, and to identify how we might meet communication expectations of the community while remaining compliant with legal requirements.

Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator

A new interim position has been created - Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Coordinator. A permanent position will be created after the president receives the task force’s report.

Student Advocacy Group

The response from staff, faculty and students to move this forward has been tremendous. Thank you to Laura Ford, Jessica Schultz, SafePath and +IMPACT for leading these conversations. It has been determined that +IMPACT along with faculty advisor Dr. Lena Hann will work to establish a student advocacy group. Dr. Hann is also seeking another faculty member to help with the group. Please email her if you’re interested.

Please continue to check for more updates as they become available.

Dr. Gail L. Summer
Provost and Dean of the College
Augustana College
639 38th St.
Rock Island, Ill., 61201