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Barron Creates Sexual Assault/Harassment Task Force and Health Care Advisory Committee

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President Eric Barron e-mailed Penn State’s faculty and staff yesterday to announce the creation of a sexual assault and harassment task force as well as a health care advisory committee.

The e-mail came just a few days after data showed Penn State recorded the most reported on-campus forcible sexual incidents in America. Barron wrote that he is confident Penn State’s Title IX compliance is up to snuff, but he does “not believe that we should be satisfied with compliance – instead we should become a true leader in the prevention of sexual assault and in investigating and adjudicating student-on-student sexual assault cases while best protecting the wishes, and where appropriate and possible, the confidentiality of the survivors.”

The task force contains members from many walks of Penn State life:

– Damon Sims – VP Student Affairs (chair)
– Sue Cromwell – Director of Workplace Learning (HR)
– Julie Del Giorno – Athletics Integrity Officer
– Andrea Falzone – Counseling and Psychological Services
– Charmelle Green – Assoc. Director of Athletics and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
– Patricia Koch – Prof. of Biobehavioral Health, Health Education and Women’s Studies
– Ken Lehrman – Vice Provost for Affirmative Action & Title IX Coordinator
– Peggy Lorah – Director, Center for Women Students
– Kimberly Sue Menard – Asst. Professor of Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies
– Allison Newhart – Assoc. General Counsel
– Spencer Peters – University Police
– Joe Puzycki – Asst. VP Student Affairs (supervises Student Conduct)
– Danny Shaha – Director Student Conduct and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
– Lisa Squire – Asst. VP Commonwealth Campuses
– Student representatives to be added

Barron charged the committee “to collect, review and provide an evaluation of Penn State’s activities relating to sexual assault and other forms of sexual or gender-based harassment.”

The issue of campus sexual assault has received concentrated attention recently, from two different angles. It’s hard to pin down an accurate statistic of just how frequent campus sexual incidents are (depending on how you interpret statistics, anywhere from 5 to 25 percent of college women are victims of attempted or completed assault), but there’s no question they are underreported.

The second part of Barron’s e-mail handled health care, as graduate students recently got smacked with rising premiums despite their opposition. Graduate student Alison Franklin of the Student Health Insurance Task Force will hold a seat, but Barron does not mention students in his reasoning for the committee’s necessitation so it’s unclear what part of health care this will focus on. Just before Barron’s e-mail was sent, the Graduate Student Association lettered now-committee chair David Gray asking for higher subsidies.

Here’s the committee’s membership in full:

– David Gray – SVP Finance and Business (chair)
– Susan Basso – VP HR
– Bill Bird, D.O. – Vice Chair Clinical Services, Penn State Hershey Family Medicine
– Kevin Black, M.D. – Vice Dean UP Regional Campus and Chair, Department of Orthopedics
– JoAnne Carrick – Campus Director, Penn State Shenango; HC Task Force and Faculty Benefits Committee of the Senate
– Keith Crocker – Prof Insurance and Risk Management, College of Business
– Joe Doncsecz – AVP Finance and Corporate Controller
– Alison Franklin, graduate student, member Student Health Insurance Task Force
– Robin Haas – Director of Employee Benefits
– Gary Langsdale – Director of Risk Management
– Paula Milone-Nuzzo – Dean of Nursing
– Allison Newhart – Counsel to the Committee
– Dennis Scanlon – Prof. Health Policy and Administration, HHD
– Dennis Shea – Associate Dean and Professor HHD; currently chairing task force on graduate student insurance issues
– Rachel Smith – University Budget Officer
– Regina Vasilatos-Younken – Professor of Endocrine Physiology and Nutrition, and Interim Dean, The Graduate School

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