NCHERM-CR Announces Summit on the Application of Restorative Justice Practices to Cases of Campus Sexual Misconduct
MALVERN, Pa., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The NCHERM-CR, the Conflict Resolution Practice Group of The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (www.ncherm.org), will be hosting a two-day invitational Summit on the use of restorative justice practices in student-on-student sexual misconduct cases.
This Summit is being convened to explore ways in which forms of conflict resolution, and especially restorative justice practices, may be utilized lawfully, productively and beneficially to improve on the traditional approaches used in student disciplinary proceedings.
The goals of the Summit are two-fold: to develop a set of model best practices for use on college and university campuses and to empower the creation of a pilot project to implement and research the effectiveness of the model.
Three colleges have agreed to send delegates to the Summit and to serve for a year as pilot sites for the model. Vassar College, Franklin & Marshall College and Colgate University will be working with the consultants from NCHERM-CR to demonstrate effectiveness so that the model can eventually be implemented for all interested colleges and universities.
The challenge is to provide for accountability and protection so that the severity of sexual misconduct is not minimized, but also create environments where victims choose to come forward and are empowered by a process that offers more effective educational, healing and cathartic effects for the participants and the community.
This Summit is a first of its kind event, which will take place at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY on June 28th-29th, bringing together experts in higher education conflict resolution, restorative justice, victim advocacy, law, policy, prevention and research. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will also be sending delegates to address the Title IX implications of the NCHERM-CR project. NCHERM-CR has invited the country's leading experts on this subject, including:
Rick Olshak, Illinois State University (Summit Co-Chair);
Matt Gregory, Louisiana State University;
Chris Loschiavo, University of Florida;
Brett A. Sokolow, The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management;
Jan Masland, Franklin & Marshall College;
Kim Taylor, Colgate University;
Susan Smith, Colgate University;
Mark Thompson, Colgate University;
Batia Epelbaum Karabell, Vassar College;
Elizabeth Schrock, Vassar College;
Kaaren Williamson, Carleton College;
Joanne Mullen, Carleton College;
Mary Koss, University of Arizona;
Nina Cummings, Cornell University;
Mary Beth Grant, Cornell University;
Michelle Issadore, School and College Organization for Prevention Educators;
Anna Moretto-Cramer, New York Office for Civil Rights;
Janet Pfeffer, New York Office for Civil Rights;
Duke Fisher, Learning Laboratories, Inc. (Summit facilitator);
Rochelle Calhoun, Skidmore College;
Mariel Martin, Skidmore College;
David Karp, Skidmore College (Summit Co-Chair).
NCHERM-CR Practice Group Chair Rick Olshak sees the Summit as an important first step in assisting campuses to properly manage sexual misconduct complaints. "While we know that OCR has ruled out mediation for the purpose of resolving these complaints, there are often other factors and interests at stake that are never properly addressed through our traditional adjudication systems," Olshak said. "Additionally, restorative justice offers us the potential of being able to properly discipline students in these cases while also providing forums for all parties to be equitably engaged and empowered in the process."
NCHERM Managing Partner Brett A. Sokolow, Esq., added that "In my mind, there has always been a critical element missing from campus efforts to address sexual misconduct -- the element of healing and restoration. Some campuses have experimented with applying restorative justice to sexual misconduct, but efforts to date have not yielded a broadly applicable model. We firmly believe that it can be done and done well when the right ingredients are in place in the right way. The Summit is the opportunity to bring the best minds into thoughtful collaboration around a set of transformative principles and practices. The campuses selected to pilot are ideal because their communities are committed, they have implemented state-of-the-field policies and procedures to assure Title IX compliance already, and have done so with an eye toward being able to bring restorative practices into play. We are all excited to see what can be accomplished in June."
SOURCE The National Center for Higher Education Risk ManagementBack to top