Skip to main content

College Action Steps

Since 2013, the College has taken more than 30 concrete steps to address campus sexual misconduct, and this effort remains ongoing. The College initiated reviews of its policies and procedures through a formal external review by the firm Margolis, Healy & Associates, and through an internal task force titled the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct. In addition, the College created five new staff positions, revamped its policies and procedures, increased its programming on sexual violence prevention, added new trainings for faculty and staff, and continues to refine its practices and initiatives.

The list below details many of the steps involved in this transition.

May 2013 - December 2014

  • In May of 2013, the College commissioned an external review of all its sexual misconduct policies and procedures by Margolis, Healy, & Associates, a consulting form specializing in campus safety, security, and regulatory compliance. The College has since implemented all of the recommendations from their July 2013 Interim Report and from their Final Report issued in January of 2014.
  • The College also conducted a thorough internal review through the work of the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct, chaired by Professor of Sociology, Sarah Willie-LeBreton, and composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Board of Managers. The Task Force delivered its report to the campus community in September of 2014.


  • The College hired an interim Title IX Coordinator, Patricia Flaerty Fischette, created a full-time Title IX Coordinator position, and began a national search for that position. Kaaren Williamsen, an experience college administrator and nationally known Title IX expert, was hired to the position in July 2014. This position reports directly to the President.
  • The College appointed four Deputy Title IX Coordinators to support the work of the Title IX Coordinator. These included the Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development; the Associate Provost for Faculty Development; the Human Resources Manager; and the Associate Athletics Director. These deputies assisted the Title IX Coordinator with policy development, case management, prevention education, and served as an additional first point of contact for concerned parties.
  • Worth Health Center hired a Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate to serve as a trained sexual assault and domestic violence crisis counselor/advocate and a confidential campus resource.
  • The Dean of Students reviewed staffing in residential life to ensure sufficient capacity and infrastructure to provide increased student support and educational programming in the residential setting. They launched a new Office of Student Engagement, combining Residential Life and Student Activities, and added staff positions to provide more support for residential advisors, crisis management, leadership development, and residential education.
  • The Dean of Students separated the roles of alcohol/other drugs counseling and fraternity advising. Worth Health Center hired an Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor to provide prevention programming and confidential clinical care to students, integrating prevention and treatment programs more fully into the College's health and wellness resources. Fraternity advising was delegated to the Office of Student Engagement.
  • Public Safety hired an additional investigator, who provided training for departmental staff and the broader campus community on how to most effectively and sensitively respond to incidents of sexual misconduct.
  • The College dedicated a house on Fieldhouse Lane as the new Office of the Title IX Coordinator, including offices for the department administrative assistant and Title IX Fellow. The house continues to be a dedicated space for groups working on these issues to come together, and provides privacy for those who are seeking assistance.
  • The Title IX Coordinator created a Student Title IX Advisory Team, a group of ten dedicated Swarthmore students who advised on policy, procedures, events, and initiatives.


  • The College adopted a new Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy and revised the Student Handbook, detailing new hearing procedures and providing detailed explanations of sexual assault and harassment, as well as reporting options, available resources,  and explicit timeframes for all major stages of investigations and hearings.
  • Through the new policy, the College revised its response and support procedures to ensure that all reporting parties and complainants were offered a range of appropriate interim measures, including academic accommodations, housing changes, and no-contact directives.
  • Public Safety created a Clery Act Compliance Committee, which included students, faculty, and staff. The committee continues to oversee the College's compliance with the Clery Act in the areas of reporting, policy, procedure development, implementation, and regularly updates the Annual Fire Safety and Security Report.
  • Public Safety developed new and revised existing policies and protocols related to reporting, including updates on the issuance of timely warning notices. The department also updated their website to ensure that Clery Act provisions are easily accessible, and added an online report form for incidents of criminal activity and/or sexual misconduct.
  • The Title IX Coordinator guided implementation of the Campus SaVE Act. They reviewed existing efforts and made changes to ensure that all employees and students are offered both initial and ongoing training on the expanded scope of reporting, response, and prevention education requirements.
  • The College shifted its adjudication model for cases of sexual misconduct against students to one that is overseen by an external adjudicator.


  • The College sponsored both full and half day Title IX training sessions for faculty and staff. These trainings included an overview of institutional obligations, a review of legislative updates, and a discussion of the training, education, and prevention requirements of Title IX. During this timeframe, the College held over 80 training sessions on Title IX and Clery Act compliance, in addition to dozens of information sessions with student groups including fraternities, athletics teams, and peer leaders.
  • The College provided training for to ensure that campus confidential resources understood existing grievance procedures and could adequately address student concerns.
  • Public Safety ensured that all campus security authorities (CSAs) were identified and trained on their responsibilities to promptly report all Clery Act crimes, including sexual assault. A list of CSAs was widely distributed across campus and listed on the College's website, and a comprehensive training program with expanded Title IX training for CSAs, including RAs, was also created.

prevention, education, support, and outreach

  • The College launched a sexual misconduct resources website titled SHARE, providing information and assistance for victims and survivors of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination, as well as details about the College's policies and procedures. Websites for the Title IX Coordinator and Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate were also launched, and two safety apps were purchased for use by the College community.
  • The Dean of Students, in coordination with the Title IX Coordinator, required incoming first-year students to take a new online course that offered an expanded focus on sexual assault, relationship violence, bystander intervention, and alcohol and other drug use prevention. Students continue to be required to take this course each year.
  • The Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate provided education for new students, including information about relationship violence, sexual harassment, and where to report concerns regarding sexual misconduct on campus and to law enforcement. The VPEA also conducted workshops for student groups, including new fraternity members and student-athletes.
  • The Office of Student Engagement provided alcohol-free social events and worked with the SWATeam to support and monitor events at which alcohol was served.
  • Public Safety began offering Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training, a nationwide program focused on awareness, education, and self-defense.
  • The Dean of Students made revisions to alcohol and party procedures to promote safety and well-being on campus. The number of SWATeam party monitors was increased, as were the number required to supervise registered parties. Members underwent enhanced training with both the Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate and Public Safety. A medical amnesty policy was put into place, as well as a policy prohibiting hard alcohol at registered campus events.
  • The Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor conducted trainings focused on education and prevention for a variety of groups, including first-year students, athletes, RAs, and fraternity members.
  • The Sexual Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationships Education Team was created to expand prevention education. In November 2014, the group hosted national educator and speaker Mike Domitrz for a campus discussion.

Spring 2015

  • The Title IX Coordinator hired Abigail Henderson '14 as the first Title IX Fellow. This position helped with events, resource development, and prevention education.
  • The Dean of Students hired a Case Manager and Educator for Community Standards to serve as a grievance advisor, assisting respondents in navigating the student conduct process and ensuring a fair and equitable process for both parties involved in formal complaints.
  • The Title IX Coordinator worked with their team to continue to implement the recommendations made by the Sexual Misconduct Task Force.
  • The Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate expanded accessibility to the Women's Resource Center, providing drop-in hours and enhanced programming and events. They also offered Survivor Support and Anti-Violence Advocacy Training around interpersonal violence prevention.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research and the Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development, developed a survey tool to assess campus climate around a number of issues, including sexual misconduct. Results from these surveys helped inform future programming related to sex-based harassment.
  • The Dean's Office, in collaboration with Title IX, Public Safety, and the VPEA, continued to improve upon reporting measures, investigation procedures, and adjudication processes.
  • The Sexual Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationships Education Team provided a week of collaborative programming around healthy relationships, consent, and identity.

2018 - 2020

  • The Title IX Team created a Witness Coordinator role within the formal complaint process to ensure that witnesses receive consistent support, information, and resources.
  • The Title IX Coordinator hired a Title IX Project Manager to serve in the witness coordinator role, as well as to oversee programming, assist in case management, and coordinate campus partnerships.
  • The use of an external investigator model was incorporated into policy to investigate formal complaints of sexual misconduct against students.
  • The Title IX Coordinator notified the community of proposed changes to federal Title IX guidelines as issued by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The Title IX Office hosted an open forum for the campus community to share their questions and concerns regarding the proposed changes.
  • The Title IX Coordinator shared Swarthmore's response to the proposed changes with the campus community.
  • The College joined several other liberal arts colleges in signing a letter that captured and expanded upon the College's concerns.
  • The Title IX Coordinator implemented changes to the College's Title IX policy and procedures, known as the Title IX and College-Defined Sexual Misconduct Policy, that addresses reported violations of sexual harassment covered under Title IX, as well as acts that are not covered by Title IX but violate our community standards, and therefore fall within the definitions of College-defined sexual misconduct.