U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal on Campus for Roundtable This Friday
In the wake of a White House report on sexual assault, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is holding a series of roundtable discussions in the state with students, survivors, sexual assault victim advocates, campus staff, and administrators to learn more about campus sexual violence. This Friday, March 7, 2014, at 1 p.m., Senator Blumenthal and Fairfield University will co-host one such roundtable in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. All Fairfield University community members are welcome to attend. R.S.V.P. online by March 6, 2014.
The Senator is also trying to learn what the federal government can do to further institutionalize best practices in primary prevention and response to victims/survivors, and increase transparency and compliance with federal law. Participants will also include 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, which found that nearly one in five women (22 million) and one in 71 men (1.6 million) have been victims of sexual assault.
The discussions are 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.”
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 taken 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.
“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.”