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Spelman College

President's Letter to the Community

Letter to Parents

The following letter was shared with parents earlier today.

November 14, 2017

Dear Spelman Parents,

I can well imagine that recent social media conversations about sexual misconduct have raised concerns about safety on the campus of Spelman College. Every Spelman student deserves an excellent education in a safe and supportive environment and, in providing that education, I would like you to know that the College has zero-tolerance towards sexual misconduct of any kind.

In the past two years, the Office of the President, in solidarity with students and faculty, has taken major steps to continue to make Spelman a campus that is safe for all students by enhancing our Title IX compliance efforts in the following ways:

1. We have built a professional Title IX & Compliance Office and enhanced staffing to respond quickly to every reported incidence of sexual misconduct. (Please take a look at resources available on our Title IX website.)  As a result, students who report to the Title IX Office or the Dean of Students can be assured of a sympathetic hearing, a review of their options, counseling or medical assistance if needed, and a swift and thorough investigation and adjudication on the part of both the Title IX Office and the Dean of Students.

2. The College instituted mandatory Title IX training for all Spelman employees with a special emphasis on first responders to make sure that everyone on campus understands how to respond quickly and effectively to any reports of sexual misconduct.

3. In collaboration with student groups, Spelman has enhanced educational programs aimed at prevention of sexual violence.  This week, the Sex Discrimination Student Commission and Spelman Student Government Association planned a series of activities in acknowledgement of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Known as RAINN Week, activities involve education through workshops and events about consent, bystander intervention, support for survivors and a Take Back the Night March.

4. Additionally, each vice president at the College is responsible for overseeing how their units can help promote the values and practices that will help reinforce the fact that sexual misconduct is unacceptable under any circumstance.

Recent social media conversations alert us that we must do even more. We must do our best to foster an environment in which victims feel safe and comfortable to come forward to report unwanted contact, harassment or misconduct of any sort. As a community, we must also make it clear that not only is it unacceptable for any member of our community to perpetrate an act of sexual misconduct, it is also unacceptable to excuse, condone, dismiss or remain silent about any form of sexual misconduct.

This week I will host a student town hall to discuss these issues and make sure that students are aware of all of the resources available to them. Finally, as parents, you are invited to share with us your concerns and suggestions. Encourage your daughters to report any information they have about incidents and to access the resources and support services we have put in place, if needed.

Sexual misconduct is a societal issue and at Spelman we believe that our mission and values call for us to be leaders as important conversations take place not only at Spelman, but nationwide. 


Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.