By Deirdre Loftus

Sexual misconduct has become a national conversation, particularly regarding college campuses. We know that sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking have always occurred at institutions across the world. We are committed to being a voice in the current national conversation.

Paul Smith’s College received a $300,000 grant from The Department of Justice designed to implement a strategic plan preventing sexual misconduct. We were one of 57 higher education institutions awarded these funds. The ultimate goal is to help create effective, comprehensive responses to sexual misconduct. A comprehensive approach includes both prevention and intervention and requires a multi-faceted, coordinated effort.

A Coordinator of C.A.R.E. (Campus Advocacy Response Education) has been hired to spearhead grant efforts and evaluate all prevention and response efforts through an interdisciplinary, evidence-based approach.  This is done to ensure that the response to victim/survivors is seamless, consistent, and supportive. The ultimate goal is to continue protecting and empowering students.

We’ve launched a CARE Team comprised of faculty, staff, students, and community partners. They meet regularly and have developed a strategic plan to enhance all relevant policies, prevention education efforts, and response procedures.

This type of multifaceted group has been shown to most effectively change a campus culture. Members operate on a set of core values insuring that we are survivor-centric, trauma informed, culturally competent, intersectional, evidence informed, collaborative, and open minded.

PSC does a lot to empower the community: some of it is required by law and some is in policies. Everything done is to foster a culture of consent and respect.

We’d love to hear from students about how we can best enhance our efforts. We’d also love to have student representation on the CARE team. If students are interested in being on the CARE team or have feedback, please contact Deirdre Loftus (Picture Left), C.A.R.E. Coordinator, at (518) 327-6263 or dloftus@paulsmiths.edu.

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