New Title IX outreach, education specialist aims to ‘demystify’ sexual misconduct reporting process


(Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer)

The Sexual Harassment Prevention Office and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at 1800 Sherman Ave. The two offices were combined to make the Office of Equity, Kate Harrington-Rosen said.

Erica Snow, Campus Editor

Northwestern has filled a position to educate the community about the sexual misconduct reporting process.

Kate Harrington-Rosen began working as the Title IX/Equity Outreach and Education Specialist in July, she said. The position focuses solely on education and outreach, and is not involved in the resolution process of sexual misconduct complaints, former Title IX coordinator Joan Slavin told The Daily in April.

Harrington-Rosen will train students and faculty members about the sexual misconduct reporting process to “demystify” it by educating them about the next steps after a sexual misconduct complaint is reported.

“It doesn’t really matter if those policies and procedures exist if folks aren’t aware of them and don’t feel like the office is something they can access,” she said.

Harrington-Rosen has trained about 1,150 people and said more than half of them were undergraduate and graduate students.

Vice president for student affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin announced the creation of the Title IX outreach position in a March email, which notified the community about the University’s decision not to take disciplinary action against Sigma Alpha Epsilon and another, unnamed fraternity for reports of alleged druggings and sexual assaults.

Harrington-Rosen’s position is overseen by the Office of Equity, which on Monday combined the Sexual Harassment Prevention Office and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, she said.

Dwight Hamilton, the inaugural associate vice president of equity, oversees the new Office of Equity and said he plans to make the office more visible, inclusive and proactive.

“I’m very happy that we have someone within the office who’s dedicated to communicating on issues of sexual misconduct and sexual violence awareness,” Hamilton said.

Harrington-Rosen said she plans to spend her first year listening to students describe their experiences with the reporting process and the Sexual Harassment Prevention Office.

“That’s all really, really useful feedback for me so that I can be thinking, ‘OK, moving forward on the front end, how can we empower people with information about not just how to access our resources, but then what happens when they do access those?’” she said.

Harrington-Rosen said she will also teach University employees about the mandatory reporting process because many have had questions about when to report allegations of sexual misconduct.

She added that she is also working with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to schedule trainings and work more closely with students in Greek life.

“Instead of sort of checking a box at the beginning of the year … we’re actually looking at kind of becoming more of a part of the culture,” Harrington-Rosen said.

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