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Gender Equity Expert Panel Recommendations
In 1996, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement, with the assistance of the Women’s Educational Equity Act Program of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, formed the Gender Equity Expert Panel made up of 30 experts from around the country. This panel—and its six subpanels—was charged with several tasks, including the identification of programs or interventions that effectively promote gender equity in and through education.
The recommendations of the panel were announced in July 2000 at the National Coalition for Sex Equity in Education’s annual conference, with the naming of 1 exemplary and 10 promising programs. Information on these programs is available at the NCSEE website (http://www.ncsee.org/announcements/usdeptedu.html).
In addition to the exemplary and promising programs, the panel created a new category called "good resources" to cover submissions such as videotapes and survey instruments that would not be expected to yield evidence of positive impact or effectiveness--one of the four criteria required to be designated as promising or exemplary by the Secretary. However, these resources were judged good on the other criteria of quality, significance, and replicability or usefulness to others. Descriptions of these resources follow, along with contact information. The first six "Good Resources" came from the Subpanel on Prevention of Sexual and Racial Harassment and Violence on College Campuses. The next two: "Disabled Women--Visions and Voices From the Fourth World Conference on Women" and "Building Community: A Manual Exploring Issues of Women and Disability" were submitted to the Gender Equity and Disabilities Subpanel. The last two focused on teacher education.
PROJECT PULSE CAMPUS
Elizabeth Williams, Research Associate
DESCRIPTION: The Project Pulse Campus Climate Surveys are used collaboratively by the Office of Human Relations (OHR) and Student Affairs Research Information and Systems (SARIS). They are phone surveys of random samples of undergraduate students in the areas of sexual harassment, racial and ethnic issues, antiSemitism, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. The purpose of these surveys and the resulting Project Pulse reports is to enable the University of Massachusetts campus to use a data-driven, results-oriented approach to monitor campus climate in these areas, identify areas of improvement and needed attention, fashion corrective strategies, and evaluate their effectiveness.
These Campus Climate Surveys are conducted every three years in a staggered fashion, resulting in published reports presenting both current results and comparison with previous surveys. With the third survey of each decade, a "decade report" is produced which examines trends over a six year period for which there were three separate surveys.
Since the first survey of sexual harassment in 1983, the Climate Surveys have been gradually expanded to cover the additional areas mentioned above and have periodically included similar surveys of graduate students. It is anticipated that the first Campus Climate Surveys on issues related to disabilities, sexual harassment in the workplace, and racial and ethnic concerns will be piloted soon.
TARGET POPULATIONS: This program currently targets residential and commuter students at a four-year public university, as well as the public and other affected communities.
COST: Since the undergraduate interviewers are generally workstudy students, direct costs for each survey are usually less than $500. Adding in the cost of the graduate student who operates the Project Pulse program (which does many more surveys in addition to the Campus Climate Surveys), the time of a professional staff person who supervises the graduate student, and additional administrative costs, each survey is estimated to have a full cost of about $2000.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: No written training materials or guidelines are available from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, but any institution of higher education wishing to adapt this program could easily use either internal resources (e.g. Sociology or Statistics faculty, institutional research staff, etc.) or an external survey contractor to gather this type of campus climate information on a variety of topics at regular intervals. Since Project Pulse survey items, methodology, and sampling methods are freely available to the public, other institutions can avoid survey development costs and use the existing surveys as is or in a modified form. The software package utilized to gather and analyze questionnaire data from undergraduate surveyors is a commercially available package. SARIS and OHR staff are willing to provide limited additional technical assistance to institutions interested in implementing this approach.
SUMMARY: Among the strengths of the program are its low cost and the technical assistance it provides to other institutions. The data collection methods and tools to assess campus climate on a regular basis appeared to be useful and valuable.
SCREAM THEATER: A MANUAL
DESCRIPTION: In 1991 Rutgers University developed an innovative model for teaching students about sexual violence by combining elements of peer education and theater to produce a unique, exciting educational intervention. Initially designed to reach large audiences, the goals were: 1) to educate students about sexual violence; 2) to promote critical thinking and values clarification; 3) to create positive peer pressure on students for healthy behavior choices; 4) to challenge cultural attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that support sexual violence; and 5) to utilize peers to teach this message. The program has expanded to include other types of interpersonal violence including dating violence, stalking and peer sexual harassment. With the award of a multiyear grant originally from the New Jersey Department of Health and currently from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths Theater (SCREAM Theater) traveled off-campus and provided programs to area high schools, other colleges and universities, national and state conferences to train staff and students to better understand the complexity of issues that interact with interpersonal violence.
Utilizing improvisational theater, the "scripts" are developed for each unique audience and use that particular community's language, thoughts, ideas and behaviors. For example, a program for athletes will utilize student-athletes as actors and the script will utilize athlete-specific information. The presentation speaks directly to the audience in two ways since the actors remain in character for questions from the audience and members of the audience may participate on stage. Weekly training sessions of one to two hours in length educate the student performers about the targeted issues and different theater and improvisational skills.
TARGET POPULATIONS: SCREAM Theater describes its target audience as all of its undergraduate and graduate students, including students in athletics and Greek associations, gay/lesbian students, students with disabilities and students in various racial/ethnic groups. They have presented programs that address interpersonal violence in Latino culture and are in the process of developing programs for students with disabilities. In addition, University staff members are included in SCREAM's target audience.
COST: A full-time staff person from the Department of Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance is responsible for SCREAM Theater. Salary figures were not specified. In addition, a theater consultant and many students support the operation of the theater. Additional resources that may be needed vary depending on how extensive a project is developed. The student "administrators" work from eight to twenty hours per week. The performers are paid $25.00 per performance, but they are not paid for their weekly training and rehearsal time. The number of students employed each semester or year was not specified. Expenses for props was reported to be minimal, amounting to no more than $100, and almost all props can be reused. Funds for travel are necessary if the group performs off-campus. Several hundred dollars is spent annually for food for rehearsals and weekly training sessions which run one to two hours in length.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: SCREAM Theater and its sponsoring office, Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance, have developed contacts and investigated and developed resources on a number of different fronts. SCREAM benefits from funding provided not only by the University but also by the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (Rape Care program within the Division on Women). SCREAM is seeking to develop programs at another campus site and thus has been collaborating with the Newark Department of Health Education. Rutgers’ President and other university personnel have remained strong supporters. The theater group is reaching out to the local community and its high schools while also investigating related programs at other universities such as the University of Michigan, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. SCREAM has performed at area colleges and universities. They have initiated contact with the Paul Robeson Center in order to develop their presentations for and with the African American student population.
SUMMARY: The program's strengths include the following: an innovative way to engage in peer education through theater; the manual, budget and staff leadership are key elements; evaluation is planned in two stages; and SCREAM deals with teaching techniques identified as successful with college students.
DESCRIPTION: Denison University's Antiharassment and Free Speech Policy was enacted during the spring semester of 1998. Modeled after a similar policy at Arizona State University, Denison's policy adds the definition of harassment promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights in its guidelines on racial and sexual harassment for institutions of higher education. The policy provides a high level of protection for academic freedom and protection for free speech that depends upon the setting of the incident and other circumstances. Nonetheless, under the policy "just speech" may rise to the level of harassment.
TARGET POPULATIONS: The policy targets all of Denison University's undergraduate students including: gay and lesbian students, students with disabilities, athletes, members of Greek associations, and those identified with racial/ethnic groups.
COST: The Campus Environment Team (CET) plans and implements programs to educate the campus about the policy. Various judicial panels (for students, faculty or employees) apply the policy to specific cases. The CET trains the judicial panels. This requires approximately $10,000 and 250 hours of staff time annually.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Denison University drew from a variety of sources in creating and implementing its Antiharassment and Free Speech Policy. Some of these were Arizona State University and its Campus Environment Team, publications on sexual harassment and educational institutions from the U.S. Department of Education, articles from the Journal of College and University Law, and a Task Force comprised of University staff members.
SUMMARY: Denison University's Antiharassment and Free Speech Policy demonstrates a positive balance of protections against harassment with First Amendment issues. It recognizes the unique posture of educational institutions. Integrating the policy with implementation by the CET will go a long way toward overcoming the legalistic wording.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY
DESCRIPTION: The University of Oregon completed an intensive two-year process when new language to the Sexual Misconduct Code was unanimously passed in the University Senate. The new code was created to improve the University's ability to respond to sexual assault and rape. Goals of the new policy are outlined as follows: to encourage communication prior to engaging in sexual activity, thus decrease the number of sexual assaults; to develop a policy that is sensitive to survivors as well as accused students; and to address the relationship between sexual assault and alcohol.
The language was expanded from the previous code, and the code was written in gender-neutral language making it applicable for both male and female survivors. Consent was redefined to encourage communication between people who are sexually intimate and to make it clearer to determine allegations of misconduct. The revised code also explicitly defines the University's jurisdiction off-campus. The new language clearly defines terms like "rape" and "sexual assault." Finally, because alcohol is involved in the majority of assaults in the university community, a provision was added to clarify that if a person is intoxicated, meaningful consent is not possible.
TARGET POPULATIONS: The target audience for the University of Oregon's sexual misconduct policy encompasses all of its undergraduate and graduate students including gay/lesbian students, students in Greek associations and athletics, students with disabilities and students of various racial/ethnic groups (unspecified).
COST: No specific costs were provided by the submitter.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The submitter states that educating the students about the changes to the Sexual Misconduct Code has been and will continue to be a campus-wide effort with numerous departments involved. The departments and student groups that have been involved in some capacity in the education plan include: the Counseling Center; Women's Center; Office of Student Life; Office of Housing; IGBTA educational and support services; Greek organizations; and the student government.
SUMMARY: This was an outstanding policy, very well written and easy to read, and very good in the area of victims' rights. It is supported by excellent program/materials to disseminate the policy and to provide outreach efforts to students’ parents.
The policy is well grounded in legal definitions of student conduct codes that deal with sexual behavior. It has clear instructions for victims and indicates a change from victims trying to prove force by perpetrator to perpetrator having to prove alleged victim's consent. This is an important program whose developers reviewed policies and legal issues and sought broad approval by the University. The policy could be a leading example for other colleges.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND
DESCRIPTION: The product is a brochure entitled "Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships." The brochure is designed to educate the University community about issues related to the institution’s Policy on Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships. In addition to setting forth the policy’s definition of sexual harassment and consensual relationships between faculty and students, the brochure explains the rationale upon which the University’s policy is based and gives examples of behavior that may constitute sexual harassment.
The brochure clarifies that all students and staff have the right to study/work in an environment free from sexual harassment and describes what to do if one experiences sexual harassment at the University. The brochure is an integral part of the University’s enforcement of its Policy on Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships and its dissemination of information about the policy.
TARGET POPULATIONS: The product is designed for the entire University community including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff. Men and women, members of Greek associations, athletes, students with disabilities, and gay and lesbian students are all included. Approximately 20,219 people are targeted by the product.
COST: No information was provided.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The institution has responded to numerous requests for permission to duplicate the brochure.
SUMMARY: The strengths of this brochure are the inclusion of practical tips and techniques on how not to sexually harass someone; its simplicity; the focus on consensual relationships; and the engaging style that is easy-to-read, succinct, informative, and visually appealing. Also, the brochure communicates standards of conduct and prohibitive behaviors.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
DESCRIPTION: Nassau Community College (NCC), through the Affirmative Action Office and the Academic Senate Affirmative Action Committee, Sub-Committee on Sexual Harassment, surveyed and acquired the sexual harassment policies of 43 public colleges and universities and 20 private colleges and universities. As a result of reviewing each policy, the subcommittee, over two years, wrote a new sexual harassment policy for the College. After six months of negotiations with the College's full time faculty union, various student clubs, special interest organizations, and the Civil Service Employees Association, a final policy was voted on and approved by the College's Academic Senate.
TARGET POPULATIONS: Nassau Community College's Sexual Harassment Policy targets its entire student commuter population of 32,000 which includes 22,000 matriculated students in their first or second year of study and 10,000 nonmatriculated students. Within the total population, the College's policy targets first-year students and sophomores, students with disabilities and gay/lesbian students.
COST: The College has 17 administrators and faculty members especially trained as Designated Counselors to help the college community handle sexual harassment concerns. Each counselor completed approximately five days of training and another five days of retraining. The overall cost includes in-kind service contributions including faculty salaries and professional development time.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Several brochures describing the policy and program were included with the submission. They are "Sexual Harassment Policy," "NCC Policy Statement with Respect to Bias and Discrimination," "NCC Complaint Procedures for Review of Allegations of Discrimination/Harassment," and "No Means No." Numerous NCC offices and groups such as Affirmative Action, Academic Senate, the faculty union, the Civil Service Employees Association, the Women's Center, Women Students Association, the Department of Student Personnel Services, special interest student groups and more worked in partnership with this policy/program to either develop the policy and/or develop and implement the accompanying program.
SUMMARY: The College created an excellent brochure explaining the policy. Moreover, the submission was more than just a policy. It was a comprehensive and multifaceted program of awareness coupled with reinforcement.
DISABLED WOMEN - VISIONS AND VOICES FROM THE FOURTH
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Visions and Voices video intertwines disability access, disabled women's issues and women's issues to make the viewer aware that the individual disabled woman or girl is not an isolated "case," but rather part of a larger community with similar concerns. The goals of the video are: to empower individual disabled women and girls to make a connection with the larger community of disabled women activists; to educate the general population about access issues for women with different types of disabilities; to act as an impetus for further discussion of all issues relating to women with disabilities; and to provide documentation about the historical gathering of disabled women at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in September of 1995. The intended audience is women and girls with disabilities from around the world, students in the fields of education, social work, rehabilitation, disability studies and women's studies. The video also offers conference and event organizers information about making conference sites and information accessible.
TARGET POPULATIONS: Youth and adults with disabilities, postsecondary students and professionals in education, social work, rehabilitation, disability studies, women’s studies and related fields.
COST: Sliding scale from $45 to $75
SUGGESTIONS: Because it raises so many significant issues affecting disabled women in such a short time, the video could be enhanced through the development of a study guide that includes a list of discussion points and suggested readings on a range of topics to be used following the video. Topics might include the sociopolitical view of disability and gender; commonalties across disability communities; self-esteem; role models, mentoring and networking; and sexuality, reproductive health care and eugenics. Such a guide would assist educators and facilitators who are not well versed in the field of women with disabilities. Currently there is a booklet that accompanies the video, but its contents are limited to the Platform of Action from the Beijing Conference and a list of organizations around the world developed by and for women with disabilities. Accompanying materials should also provide further information about the context and structure of the video, i.e. how it was made, to clarify the relationship between the images and the voices.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Building Community, A Manual Exploring Issues of Women and Disability, examines the connection between discrimination based on gender and discrimination based on disability. Its goal is to help make equal opportunity a reality for women with disabilities by educating a variety of constituencies. Building Community contains background information on disability rights and on women and girls with disabilities, two workshop formats (one for use with adults, one for adolescents), an annotated bibliography, and selected readings. The basic workshop formats combine large-group discussion and small group interaction. Building Community is intended for use by women's organizations, disability rights activists, and educators.
The manual was produced in 1984, with a supplement added in 1987. Taken as a whole, it represents the most comprehensive curriculum on gender equity and disability currently available. It was devised by experts in the field of women and disability, and also drew on related material on racism. The manual contains a number of elements that can be used individually or together by a wide variety of organizations to disseminate information and generate discussion.
TARGET POPULATIONS: Among the adult population, this resource targets the staff of women’s organizations, disability rights activists and educators. The resource also targets adolescent girls with and without disabilities (applies to the supplement to the manual).
SUGGESTIONS: Suggestions to further enhance the quality, educational significance, and usefulness of this resource include the following: First, several aspects need updating. Basic information on inclusion, the ADA, IDEA, famous disabled women, readings, Disability Studies, disability culture and the International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities (Bethesda, Md., June 1997) needs to be included. Additional information is needed on related areas such as lesbian and gay studies, feminist studies, and race and class studies. Further exploration and analysis of the intersections of disability with race, class, gender, and sexual orientation need to be infused throughout the manual to increase its validity and relevance. It is suggested that the manual be updated to reflect these suggestions, and, in the interim, alert users to sources for additional information. Also, the availability of the manual in alternate formats, and in other languages such as Spanish, needs to be explored. It is strongly recommended that the materials be made available on disk/tape. Finally, clearer evidence of how/where the manual has been used, and with what results, would be helpful.
WOMEN IN AMERICAN LIFE:
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This set of five videotapes documents the history of women in the United States from 1861-1977, as follows:
1861-1880: Civil War, Recovery & Westward Expansion
Each videotape is approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length and is accompanied by a booklet or study guide that includes the script, short biographies of the women mentioned in the videotape and suggested directions for further research. Original historical photographs, combined with an informative narrative and, in the later videotapes, film footage, present a vivid image of women's activities and achievements during those time periods.
The objectives of this videotape program are to provide a documentary source to showcase real images of U.S. women's history, to provide students with information about an aspect of U.S. history that is mostly absent in textbooks, and to introduce women's history to community groups and others. This series of videotapes makes an excellent program for women's history month that can be used easily by community members as well as educators.
TARGET POPULATIONS: Middle and high school students, social studies teachers, postsecondary students and professionals in education, parent-teacher organizations, community groups, professional women's organizations.
COST: Each videotape costs $69.95; the entire set costs $325.00.
SUGGESTIONS: Develop a handout for students that outlines the contents of the videotapes, as well as supplementary materials that update information, where appropriate, and address additional aspects of diversity. Also, provide written materials in alternative formats if not already available.
CREATING THE NONSEXIST CLASSROOM:
DESCRIPTION: Creating the Nonsexist Classroom A Multicultural Approach provides an overview of the historical and current problems of sexism and gender discrimination in society, focusing on the microculture of the schools. It offers specific help to pre-service and in-service teachers in developing nonsexist, culturally inclusive educational approaches for application across the curriculum. It explains how the culture in most schools helps reproduce sexism and racism and provides strategies for changing school culture and practice to be more equitable. Although the text focuses on gender issues, it embeds them in a multicultural context. The author clearly connects the questions of gender with the complex issues of race, ethnicity, and class. The main concern of the book is how to educate teachers about sex and gender issues, set in a multicultural context, and how to help them transmit this new consciousness to their students. It is available in English and regular sized print only.
TARGET POPULATIONS: The resource is designed for pre-service and in-service teachers, K-12.
COST: $9.00. Where to order: Teachers College Press, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT 05495-0020
SUGGESTIONS: More information on people with disabilities should be included in future editions of the book.
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