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September 22, 2017

President Valerie Smith shared the following message with the community on September 22, 2017:

To the Swarthmore Community,

Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the rescission of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter and 2014 Q&A related to campus response to sexual misconduct. I write to assure you that Swarthmore College remains wholly committed to upholding equality and freedom from all forms of discrimination and harassment. Our College policies, which remain in effect, are based on our own values and reflective of law, guidance, and best practice.

As I shared with you earlier this month, the Department of Education’s 2011 Dear Colleague letter helped put the critical issue of sexual misconduct on the national radar, but it is far from the only guidance that informs our commitment to fostering an environment in which students and employees are able to realize their full potential. Title IX itself, the law passed 45 years ago to ensure that gender discrimination did not inhibit equal access to education, is still in full effect. In addition, The Clery Act, Violence Against Women Act, case law, and the 2001 and 2006 Guidance from the Department of Education are all still applicable and require that schools respond effectively to sexual misconduct. Furthermore, the College recognizes that all who live, work, and learn on our campus are responsible for ensuring that the community is free from discrimination based on sex or gender, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct. These behaviors threaten our learning, living, and work environments; we are actively working towards fostering a violence-free community.

Please know that the Title IX team will be following this national conversation closely, and we will keep the community informed. Please visit the SHARE website for more detailed information.


Valerie Smith