United States Senator Richard Blumenthal and Fairfield University to host roundtable discussion at Fairfield University on sexual assault in wake of White House report


Media Advisory

Image: CapitolWhen: 1 p.m., Friday, March 7, 2014

Who: Participants include U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Fairfield University students, administrators, and staff.

What: U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will host a roundtable discussion about sexual assault on college campuses with advocates from Fairfield University and the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS). This roundtable discussion follows the recent release of the White House Council on Women and Girls' report that found that nearly one in five women (22 million) and one in 71 men (1.6 million) have been victims of sexual assault (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/sexual_assault_report_1-21-14.pdf).

Where: Dolan School of Business Dining Room in the Dolan School of Business, Fairfield University campus, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824 *Parking is available in parking lots adjacent to the Dolan School. (For directions, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/directions/.)

Why: This event is part of a series of roundtable discussions Senator Blumenthal is hosting on this topic at college campuses throughout the state, and is central to an effort to learn about campus climates, attitudes, and cultures. The effort follows President Obama's announcement about forming a task force on this important issue. Dr. Thomas C. Pellegrino, Vice President for Student Affairs at Fairfield University, said: "Coming on the heels of the White House report, Senator Blumenthal plans to take back ideas gained from these roundtables to inform President Obama's task force. Given Fairfield University's mission to serve social justice and be a community committed to the mutual care of all its members, this issue is of prime importance to us. We look forward to assisting with this endeavor and taking a leadership role in promoting change."

Background: "Sexual violence is not a women's issue; it is a societal issue," said Sen. Blumenthal. "While law enforcement must be improved, society as a whole can lead by example. I am eager to hear directly from students, victim advocates, and administrators on their experience and views on how to eliminate this pernicious crime."

In January, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Blumenthal asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder how the Administration plans to address sexual assault on college campuses. Holder said the Department of Justice has and will continue to take action on the issue under Title IX and other federal statutes, and that the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, of which he is a member, will continue to look for new ways to address the problem. In addition, Holder said he looked forward to working with Blumenthal on the issue.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 6, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 199