SAHAS review committee to open its doors

The first meeting of the committee to review the controversial University Sexual Assault Hearing and Appeals System on Wednesday served as a history lesson, familiarizing members with Northwestern’s policies and guidelines.

The second meeting, to be held as an open forum Tuesday, will give students, faculty and staff a chance to voice their concerns to the committee’s 12 members.

“People will always know what we’re talking about,” said Quissell, who is also president of Women’s Coalition. “They might not know the person who’s saying it, so (committee members) feel comfortable.”

With a broad mandate from Vice President for Student Affairs Peggy Barr, the committee is set to review issues including the composition of the SAHAS board, training for its members, publicity, and its policies and procedures.

Among the policies and procedures the committee will review are hearing procedures, the definition of sexual assault, mediation and sanctions.

The review committee also has the power to discuss any other issue and is scheduled to issue its final report to the vice president for student affairs at the end of November.

The review committee was formed in the wake of SAHAS’ decision to suspend for one year a male student the board found to have sexually assaulted another student. He remained in his dorm during the appeals process.

Women’s Co. members submitted a proposal to the review committee asking that the board attach a letter of censure to the transcript of any student found guilty in connection with sexual assault, create minimum sentencing standards for some offenders and require a degree of counseling for students.

Joining Quissell on the review committee are Margo Brown, assistant to the vice president for student affairs; Tom Cline, deputy general counsel; Jia Cobb, Weinberg sophomore; Adam Humann, Associated Student Government president; Jamie Jimenez, coordinator of the sexual assault education program; Gregg Kindle, director of residential life; Renata Koleda, Weinberg junior; Susan Lee, Speech professor; Brian Moran, SAHAS board chairman and civil engineering professor; Deanna Pihos, Education junior; and Renee Redd, director of the Women’s Center.