G-burg College revises policy

August 26, 2007

Gettysburg College’s sexual misconduct policy, which was criticized by a group called FIRE last year, has been revised.

Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the group took issue with vague wording in the college’s previous sexual misconduct policy, which drew no distinction between a hug and sex crimes.

“When colleges pass codes so broad, every student can be found guilty of violating it on a regular basis,” Lukianoff said. “It leaves it up to the discretion of the school to enforce the policy as they chose.”

The group, a nonpartisan organization that monitors educational institutions and civil rights, also disputed Gettysburg’s former definition of sexual consent, which includes “continuing and active consent” throughout.

Julie Ramsey, Gettysburg’s vice president of student life and dean of students, said a policy committee of students, faculty and administrators gathers each year to review the college’s polices.

Ramsey said they reviewed the sexual misconduct policy last year and rewrote it. Changes include more specific language along the lines FIRE called for. Changes include more specific language that addresses FIRE’s concerns.

Violations include unwanted sexual contact, nonconsensual intercourse and exposing one's self to another person when it is unwanted.

The policy also has a revised definition of consent that includes “informed, freely and actively given, using mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.”

Other revisions to the policy update the reporting process...

Schools: Gettysburg College Cases: Gettysburg College: Unjust Sexual Misconduct Policy