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October 21, 2002

PCSW reviews sexual harassment policies

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

A concern brought to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women’s (PCSW) student concerns committee became an intense subject of discussion at the group’s Oct. 3 meeting.

Committee cochair Amy Fasula and member Tiffany Worboy said a graduate student told the committee about various incidents where she felt she had been sexually harassed on campus. In one incident, the student said she had been approached and verbally harassed by construction workers working on campus. In another, she said a cafeteria worker had followed her around a campus cafeteria for an extended amount of time.

While this student reported the incidents to proper campus authorities, Fasula and Worboy said the situation prompted them to review what resources were available for similar situations. The group drafted and presented “Reducing Sexual Harassment at Emory: A Plan of Action.” The yearlong plan hopes to:

• Improve access to existing channels for dealing with sexual harassment.

• Improve utilization of existing resources for prevention, education and enforcement, as well as identifying gaps in resources.

• Conduct a literature review.

• Develop a long-term plan for future PCSW action.

Women’s Center Director Ali Crown said she used to attend the University Safety and Security Committee meetings and encouraged a student member to do the same. She said the meetings were beneficial in understanding how Emory handles sexual harassment and related crime issues. Crown also emphasized that sexual harassment is truly a campuswide concern.

Junior chair Kim Smith supported the plan and said all PCSW committees should work together on it. Worboy asked all members to review the plan and send comments back to her at the next meeting.

In other business, faculty concerns cochair Marietta Collins said the group is preparing to release its faculty study on gender and equity but is still working on obtaining data from the School of Medicine.

Staff concerns committee chair Susan Lee reported that Elaine Gossett had been elected chair-elect of the committee and Sue Martin elected as secretary. This year, the group plans to examine Emory’s disability policy, staff promotions and Emory Hospitals’ upper management.

The commission will meet again Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for PCSW, e-mail Beth Seelig at