Live Blog: Making New Campus Sexual Assault Regulations, Day 4
What You Need to Know
Analysis: Today’s meeting of the negotiated rulemaking committee on the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act was a bit rocky – the negotiators covered some of the more detailed parts of the draft rule (prevention programs, training, disciplinary proceedings) and opinions in the room varied.
The main takeaways:
Some negotiators worried that the language on prevention programs was too detailed and couldn’t be applied to all types of schools. After ironing out confusion about how the requirement would apply to all students and employees (it would need to be offered but attendance wouldn’t be mandatory) the group still left up in the air exactly where they wanted to see the language go. The Department of Education, for its part, indicated that their goal is to allow flexibility in delivery of the programs but to ensure the definitions and requirements everyone works off are consistent.
The disciplinary proceedings conversation seemed to create a divide between institution representatives and students and survivors, but also revealed that many around the table work at schools who are good actors on this topic, which isn’t always the case. The main points discussed: disclosing the sanctions being applied to students by schools following disciplinary proceedings, the role of an advisor in proceedings, and the interaction between sharing results of proceedings and privacy laws.
The negotiators also discussed how the rule should indicate that Title IX will interact with various on-campus activities such as: training, investigations, disciplinary proceedings, and accommodations, to name a few. The Department has been clear that nothing in this new law and the regulation will change Title IX, and they suggested language to reinforce that point. Some members of the group were not completely on board with that draft language.
I’ll leave you with the positive note the Department tried to end the day on: days 3 and 4 tend to be the hardest in a negotiated rulemaking since so many details are being worked out, but there’s reason to be optimistic the group can reach consensus. The negotiators were encouraged to talk over the next month and think of compromise ways to move forward. Likewise, those following along can reach out to negotiators if there are suggestions for ways to solve some of the problems vocalized.
We’ll be back on March 31 and April 1 for the final days of negotiation!
Live Blog: Making New Campus Sexual Assault Regulations, Day 3
What You Need to Know
Analysis: Day 3 the of the negotiated rulemaking around the Violence Against Women Act amendments to the Clery Act (also known as Campus SaVE) proceeded a bit differently from the first two days – negotiators had a draft rule to work from, and consensus-building was clearly on their minds. If you’re just joining us and wondering what negotiated rulemaking is, you can learn more here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html.
A few things came up:
Getting the definition of stalking correct is tough. How it interacts with Clery Geography came up several times and finding a way to ensure stalking is captured accurately in statistics is still in flux. Generally no sides on this, though — everyone around the table wants to get it right.
There was some hesitation about setting a definition of consent in this regulation, but that riff mostly stemmed from university counsel concerns. The Department of Education explained a desire to ensure statistics are consistent across schools.
The statistic reporting tool (a chart) is complicated and there’s still confusion (and resistance) around expanding it. The new law asks that we learn about more crimes on campus, specifically domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking– but this is being called “double counting” by some negotiators.
Finally, confusion lingers around reporting for Clery statistics purposes and confidentiality. The Department of Education made clear, however, that there’s a lot of room to improve the draft or provide additional info in a regulation preamble.
“Amazingly, no one at MSNBC has ever said anything to me about my hair. Not one word. But the audience has a lot to say. I can’t go on air without letters and comments and tweets and emails from viewers. Everything from “Where do you get your hair done?” and “I love your hair” to “Why would you show up looking like that on air?” It comes from white folks and black folks. It would be impossible to go through the amount of responses the first year on air caused about my hair.”—Over at Slate, Melissa Harris-Perry remembers every single hairdo she’s ever had.
Analysis: The second day of the negotiated rulemaking for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act concluded today after about seven hours of mostly in-depth and issues-focused conversation. The group discussed the following key aspects of the new law: counting and reporting formats, disciplinary proceedings, training officials on campus, the simultaneous and in-writing notification of involved parties, appeals requirements, nondisclosure agreements, outcomes of proceedings, a definition around applicable jurisdiction, and technical changes from the law. You’ll have to read the liveblog below for details on each topic, but there was some agreement on ways forward in creating rules. Excellent news early in the negotiated rulemaking process. Overall, there were good suggestions from negotiators to balance the needs of survivors with schools’ concerns.
While conversations were going on today, the Department of Education updated their website to include the resources negotiators were using. Great news for all of us following along. Be sure to check out the issue papers in particular and see how the conversation below matched up with points raised there.
We’ll be back on February 24 when negotiators will have draft regulatory language in front of them for consideration. In the meantime, if you’re following along and have questions or concerns about what’s being discussed, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot us a tweet @AAUWPolicy.
Analysis: Today we were in the audience for the first day of the negotiated rulemaking around the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act. Ultimately, these provisions will help schools reduce campus sexual assault and violence. Negotiated rulemakings are an interesting process (learn more here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html) and the day started with a bit of housekeeping – three new alternate members were added to the panel (one additional nominee was not), the group agreed to consensus procedures, and an agenda was worked out.
The rest of the day was devoted to figuring out the new terms that need definitions, and discussing concerns around statistical reporting. You can check out a picture of the big whiteboard of terms (ever expanding) in the liveblog for a sense of what was on negotiators’ minds. When it comes to data collection, there was a bit of disagreement and we’ll be watching this closely. Some negotiators don’t support reporting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking separately from the current Clery crime categories, which include crimes like aggravated assault and burglary. Students and administrators might then lose the ability to assess the scope of these problems on campus, making it harder to put an end to them. We will be back Tuesday at 9 a.m. for day two.
“Normally on occasions like this I like to complain, loudly and at length, about the dearth of roles for women, but actually this year they seem to have behaved like buses in London, where you wait for hours for the right one, and then suddenly seventeen come along at once.”—Stop everything you’re doing and go read the heartwarming, feminist, and funny exchange between Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.
“Instead of blindly applauding Twitter for finally making some measure of progress, now is the perfect time for some serious reflection on why it took so long for Twitter to add some level of diversity to its board, areas still in need of improvement, and the barriers to full female participation on the technology sector.”—
Breaking news: Twitter just announced its first female board member.
This is a moment for the public to cheer, and also, as this WaPo piece suggests, to reflect on the face of American technology and what that says about culture, discrimination, and stereotypes.
Where Are the Women Economists? Here’s One You Should Know About
The nomination of Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve is a major victory but reminds us that much remains to be done if women are to achieve parity in the field of economics. Only one woman has received the Nobel Prize in economics, and the most recent recipients were exclusively male. News like this can be disheartening to read. But it also serves as a counterpoint to places (like AAUW) where women have long been recognized for an impressive array of academic fields and backgrounds, and economics is no exception.
During the 1940s, Mabel Newcomer, respected economist, was an AAUW board member. Newcomer, pictured above on the far right, was an economics professor at Vassar College for 40 years, from 1917 to 1957, and also vice president of the American Economic Association — the first woman to hold the position.
The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to find that elusive perfect gift for the girl(s) in your life. When so many gifts marketed to girls are highly gendered, promoting stereotyped and objectified images of girls, holiday shopping can be a frustrating experience. That’s why, for the second year in a row, we’ve created a list of gifts that defy stereotypes, encouraging girls (and why not boys, too?) to explore the whole range of hobbies and careers including sports, science, and engineering.
1. Future Scientist Onesie
This onesie from Toward the Stars featuring a woman scientist encourages girls to dream big from day one. Toward the Stars has numerous options for gifts that resist gender stereotypes and promote positive messages for girls. ($16.50, Toward the Stars)
2. Ten Thousand Villages Twin Girl Doll
These cute and soft dolls for your little girl to hold are handmade by the women of Zimbabwe’s Batsiranai Craft Project, which works to support mothers with disabled children. For every doll purchased, a girl in Zimbabwe will receive an identical doll. ($28, Ten Thousand Villages)
3. Pattern Blocks Puzzle
These pattern blocks are not just beautiful and colorful — they also teach kids important spatial awareness skills that will help them grasp math concepts more easily in the future. Boys are encouraged to learn spatial skills in their play much more than girls are, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These pattern blocks are from Bella Luna Toys, a woman-owned company that uses all-natural, eco-friendly materials. ($18.95, Bella Luna Toys)
4. Barbie Computer Engineer
Wikki Stix are all about unlimited creativity. This kit for kids as young as 3 lets girls create shapes, practice letters, try out the activities in the accompanying guidebook, and pack their Wikki Stix up into a handy bag for portable play. ($16.95, Wikki Stix)
6. GoldieBlox and the Parade Float
Did you love GoldieBlox last year? Goldie is back with her friend Ruby in a new play set that teaches spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving. Featuring diverse images of girl engineers, GoldieBlox and the Parade Float can be combined with creator Debbie Sterling’s previous GoldieBlox set for even more creativity. ($19.99, GoldieBlox)
7. LEGO Scientist
The new LEGO character Professor C. Bodin made history for the company this year in a way that may surprise you: She is LEGO’s first female scientist character. With the scientist minifigure set, girls can see themselves as future scientists just like this little professor. (Minifigures bags, $2.99 each, LEGO)
8. Rookie Gear Soccer Ball
Tired of all the princesses in the media who wait to be saved by Prince Charming? Get the princess fan in your life this book about a brave, smart, and self-reliant princess who defies stereotypes and rescues herself. Beautiful illustrations by Kerstin Meyer accompany this book by Cornelia Funke. ($16, Barnes and Noble)
10. Little Passports
Know a girl who loves to travel? The Little Passports interactive game lets kids travel the world from their computer, learning history and geography on the way. Plus, girls and boys will have fun while they learn. (Monthly subscriptions run from $11.95 to $13.95, Little Passports.)
11. Rainbow Loom
You may have already heard of Rainbow Loom, one of this year’s most popular toys, but did you know that it’s defying gender stereotypes? Girls and boys alike love using these colorful bands to create bracelets to share, and they might just learn a little bit about geometry and creating strong structures while they’re at it. ($16.99 starter kit, Rainbow Loom)
12. Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit
Like Toward the Stars, A Mighty Girl is a store all about positive and empowering gifts for girls. Curious and environmentally-conscious girls will enjoy this hands-on kit that lets them explore the power of electricity and renewable resources, and do real science experiments in their homes. ($49.00, A Mighty Girl)
13. Geek Dad
At AAUW, we truly appreciate the great fathers and other men in our lives who encourage us to follow our dreams. Now geek dads (and granddads, uncles, brothers) can share these simple and fun projects with their daughters, and show them their potential as future scientists. ($16.99, ThinkGeek)
For the girl in your life who is curious about the extraterrestrial world, this app for iOS lets kids explore the night sky in real time on smart phones and tablets, learning about constellations as well as the galaxies and planets that surround us. A fun activity for the whole family. ($16.99, iTunes store)
Ages 13 and older
A great gift for the girl gamer in your life, Portal puts the player in the role of Chell, a woman who decides to escape from the laboratory where she is confined. Chell must solve a series of puzzles for an artificial intelligence agent that becomes increasingly bizarre and malicious. Portal is rare among video games in that all the characters and voice actors are female — it creates a world where being female is the norm, which is refreshing in the male-dominated world of gaming. ($9.99, Steam)
16. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things
Engineering is one of the most male-dominated careers out there. Getting girls interested early can help even the balance. Now girls can learn to think like engineers, finding inventive and creative ways to use everyday objects around them, with this book recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. ($8.23, Amazon)
Boston has the best-educated women of any major US city, and now Mayor Thomas M. Menino is trying to make it a better place for them to earn a living. The goal: to make Boston the first city to eliminate the wage gap between men and women. Menino plans to announce this initiative Thursday, when he rolls out a compact signed by 38 employers that have committed to ending pay disparities.