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Dartmouth College Announces New Policies Against Sexual Harassment

To promote an environment free from sexual harassment and the abuse of power, Dartmouth College is rolling out a new Campus Climate and Culture Initiative.

The Initiative, which was announced on Thursday, follows the recommendations for institutions of higher education made in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report. It also aims to create an environment which is more welcoming, inclusive and equitable for its students, faculty, and staff.

The Campus Climate and Culture Initiative is the third measure Dartmouth has taken in the last four years, along with Moving Dartmouth Forward and Inclusive Excellence.

“We will commit the resources and energy required to overcome the biases and barriers that women and many others face on our campus,” college officials said in a release.

“To succeed, we will need support and engagement from every corner of our community. To hold ourselves accountable, we will establish an independent external advisory committee to measure and report our progress publicly.”

The college is now planning to conduct climate reviews for all academic departments, to revise its sexual misconduct policies and to create a policies-in-action working group. It has also made an online sexual violence prevention program compulsory for all faculty, staff, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate and professional students.

The Initiative comes months after seven current and former psychology students sued the college for allowing a culture of “sexual assault, harassment and discrimination” to take place by three professors at the school.

The suit alleges that professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences promoted a drinking culture among students, often forcing students to attend lab meetings at bars, making inappropriate advances towards the women and often threatening them with retaliation if they did not comply.

 

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