Jane Stapleton of UNH Testifies in Senate Hearing, Speaks About Bystander Training

According to University of New Hampshire’s website, Jane Stapleton, a widely-recognized name in the field of sexual assault research and prevention, testified in the United States senate hearing regarding sexual assault on college campuses and compliance with Title IX.

One of Stapleton’s talking points was the efficacy of bystander innovation program. She said of the approach, “bystander intervention is a different approach where women are not approached as victims or potential victims and men are not approached as perpetrators or potential perpetrators. Instead, we utilize a community approach to prevention, where everyone has a role to play in ending sexual and relationship violence and stalking.” 

Adopting bystander intervention programs is becoming increasingly more common in higher education, and here at Dartmouth we have recently adopted the Dartmouth Bystander Intervention (DBI) training program with the help of Jennifer Messina, ’93. 

In his column in Time Magazine, President Hanlon wrote, through DBI “we are instructing individual students, faculty, and staff to intervene at the first signs of trouble. To date, more than 800 Dartmouth students have been trained in DBI and we expect up to 1,400 more to be trained by the end of the month.”

Messina’s testimony speaks to the importance of innovative prevention measures like DBI.

For more on Stapleton’s testimony, see the University of New Hampshire website: http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2014/06/em28stapleton.cfm.

For President Hanlon’s piece in Time Magazine, see: http://time.com/100235/campus-sexual-assault-philip-hanlon-dartmouth/.


Termly Updates from Student Groups Related to Sexual Assault

Mentors Against Violence (MAV) is student-run COSO organization that seeks to educate peers at Dartmouth on the spectrum of violence, focusing primarily on sexual violence (SV), and challenge certain accepted norms on our campus. Their mission is to make explicit thought processes, language, and the social power structures that underlie sexual assault.

13F Highlights of MAV:

  1. 24 MAV facilitations in total
    1. 13 out of 15 fraternities
    2. 2 out of 3 co-eds
    3. 8 out of 8 sororities
    4. 2 make-up sessions
    5. 6 Greek houses with perfect attendance (5 were fraternities)
    6. One third of fraternities were co-led by two self-identified males.
    7. New program: MAV updated its program to incorporate theories and approaches used by national organizations focused on SV prevention education such as Men Can Stop Rape. This new program is flexible to reflect the needs and nuanced experiences of any audience on campus including Greek houses and affinity communities.
    8. Continued Education
      1. MAV offered three booster sessions to provide additional skills, tools, and knowledge for MAV facilitators to use in discussions and daily life.

i.     First Responder Training (taught by SAPAs)

ii.     Facilitator Skills

iii.     Self-Care (taught by Rebekah Carrow)

Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPAs) are a group of students trained to respond to incidents of sexual assault and situations of relationship abuse by supporting other students, affirming their experiences, and referring to college resources.

13F Highlights of SAPAs:

This term SAPAs organized a continued education session October 28, 2013 on domestic violence and relationship abuse. The event was open to students active in organizations fighting to end violence and harm including Mentors Against Violence, DAPAs, Sexperts, EDPAs, SPCSA, Green Team, and UGAs. The session included a screening of Leslie Morgan Steiner’s TED Talk followed by a discussion on relationship violence facilitated by Rebekah Carrow and Kate Rohdenburg from WISE.

Meeting with Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office & Committee on Standards

The Chair and Vice Chair met with the UJAO office to understand the COS system better and meet the new Director Leigh Remy. We learnt that the UJAO is in the process of compiling their department update on sexual assault. It was good to hear that the College is working with sex crimes consultant Lisa Friel to develop more extensive training for sexual misconduct cases through the COS. Rachel Funk, the current Recruitment Chair for SPCSA, was even able to meet with her and further discuss college disciplinary processes*.
For clarification, here is a rough road map of the Committee on Standards.
The COS is composed of faculty, staff and students.
There are 12 students on the COS a term. There are two ways for students to apply to sit on the COS. You can apply for appointment by the Dean of the College on an annual basis. Application found here:  http://www.dartmouth.edu/~uja/news.html. You can also run through Student Assembly every Spring term. The appointed members remain anonymous and the SA electees are public knowledge.
Faculty are appointed through a lottery system and serve 2 years on COS. Currently faculty serving on the COS are: Dean Johnson (Chair); Presidential Appointees; Aguado, Canepa, Clark, Chakrabati, Dolph, Mansur, Orellana, Orleck, Park, Raz, Sa’adah, Scott, Sutton. Updated COS faculty members can be found here:
Staff are appointed by Presidents Office and serve for an undetermined period of time. Their identity is not public knowledge.
The SPCSA encourages thoughtful, responsible and committed students to consider applying to serve on the COS. Student input provides a essential context for cases and an invaluable service to the community. 
If you think of ways the SPCSA can help explain the COS system to students please get in touch. You can contact us with suggestions on our feedback page:

SPCSA Fact Sheet

Click the link for the SPCSA’s new fact sheet: SPCSA Fact Sheet Final

Citations for the Fact Sheet

(1) Fisher, Cullen and Turner. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women”: A National Institute of Justice Report (2000). 

(2) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey”: Summary Report (2010).

(3) Lisak, David. “Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence”. Civic Research Institute (2011). 

(4) Dartmouth College. “Annual Security and Fire Safety Report” (2013). Ivy League statistics come from the schools’ Clery Reports.

(5) Lisak, David and Paul Miller. “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”. Violence and Victims (2002). 
If you would like to look at these sources in full, please see the links below:
 (1) The Sexual Victimization of College Women
(2) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
(3) Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence
(4) Dartmouth Clery 2012
(5) Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists

SPCSA in communication with Dartmouth EMS

SPCSA has been in contact with the director of Dartmouth EMS, Ethan Thomas, concerning the recommendation made to the organization in SPCSA’s 2013 recommendations. Dartmouth EMS has an extensive training program in place concerning sexual assault that includes materials from Amanda Childress, co-director of the SAAP program, special primary patient care training and a psychological aid course taught by Dr. Kristen Gustavson. Additionally, Dartmouth EMS has offered first responder training multiple times in the past two years. SPCSA would like to commend Dartmouth EMS for their attention to and investment in sexual assault-specific training, and will be continuing to work with this organization to further develop and improve the impressive training already in place.

SPCSA holds termly Faculty Dinner

Event: 13X Faculty Dinner

Date: 7 August 2013

Location: Paganucci Lounge

Who Attended

Prof. Kelly McConnell, French and Italian

Prof. Richard Denton, Physics and Astronomy

Prof. Lee Witters, Biological Sciences and Geisel Medical School

Prof. Susannah Heschel, Jewish Studies

Prof. Richard Kremer, History

Carl Thum, Director of Academic Skills Center

Lisa Thum, Undergraduate Dean

Aurora Matzkin, Office of Health Promotion and Wellness


The objective of this dinner was to have an informal conversation with faculty about the current campus climate with emphasis on sexual violence, how professors feel about having a role in addressing concerning behavior on campus, and how students and faculty could create more opportunities for closer relationships with faculty members.


1. Professors felt that they know very little about policy and resources concerning sexual misconduct on campus as well as what is already being done to address the issue. They also showed concern for the disproportionate punishment of perpetrators relative to the severity and prevalence of sexual violence.

2. Professors expressed that they are sometimes discouraged to interact with students because research and academic teaching, especially for junior faculty, is supposed to be their main concerns. Issues of crossing a professional boundary is also cited as a reason. Professors, however, are interested in getting more involved in student life.

3. There was a discussion about the lack of student controlled spaces. Very few places on campus allow students to arrange the space to their own liking and without always having to become a study space.

4. We talked about the idea of a residential college system that mimic and expand on the East Wheelock Cluster where professors can have a closer role to student life on campus. It was suggested that professors could be eligible to receive an off-term to run a cluster for a term.

Action Steps

1. Strongly urge all professors, by means of department heads, to seek first responder training to learn more about the issue and learn how they can get further involved.

2. If professors are first responder trained and willing/comfortable, urge professors to include a line their course syllabi to identify themselves as first responders who are a referral and support system to a student dealing with non-academic issues.

3. Hand deliver paper copies of SPCSA recommendations to department heads who would disseminate to their faculty.

4. Propose to SPCSA to host a faculty dinner every term to reach wider range of professors and opinions and to monitor progress with efforts concerning the faculty.

Thank you to all professors who came!