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October 18 , 2004
Wagner discusses Mandl case with PCSW
BY Eric Rangus
Discussion of the July 31 arrest of Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration, following allegations of public drunkenness and sexual battery, dominated the most recent meeting of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), Oct. 7 in 400 Administration.
President Jim Wagner was in attendance to discuss the administration’s response to the arrest and conditions related to Mandl’s return to work on Oct. 25.
In his review of the incident, Wagner said Mandl was never charged with sexual battery, and that the DeKalb County solicitor has not determined whether to file charges for public drunkenness. Wagner also described Mandl’s post-arrest treatment for alcohol abuse, which included a five-week stay at an in-patient hospital followed by outpatient treatment for alcohol dependency. The outpatient therapy is continuing.
Conditions for Mandl’s return to work—on a part-time basis initially—will include after-care therapy and participation in an after-work 12-step program. Wagner also said Mandl would accept an invitation to speak to the commission at its discretion.
“Women on campus were surprised that there was not more outrage expressed about the incident,” said commission Chair Susan Gilbert. Wagner, however, commended the work of the commission, which he said was responsible for a second, more detailed campuswide e-mail (distributed Aug. 19) about the incident. The second e-mail included the specific allegations against Mandl—the first one, sent out on Aug. 3, did not—and the language of the notice was more forceful.
Some comments during the meeting were directed specifically toward Mandl, but Wagner reiterated that charges have never materialized. “We can be outraged at actions and we can be outraged at perpetrators, but we can’t be outraged at allegations,” he said.
Bennett Hilley, undergraduate chair of the PCSW’s student concerns committee, said she was concerned about a campus atmosphere that implied “sexual aggression is OK if you are drunk.” Several other commission members spoke of this being an “educable moment,” implying that now is the time for meaningful dialogue on campus about the interrelated subjects of alcohol abuse and sexual aggression.
“The onus is on us to think of where we can go from here,” Gilbert said. “What can we do to transform this into a learning opportunity.”
Ex officio commission member Leslie Campis, sexual assault prevention coordinator, volunteered to head a subcommittee to explore avenues to educate the campus on issues of sexual aggression.
“We can make this an issue without a crisis,” Wagner said. “I can make that declaration to you.” He added that he needed some vehicles to move the conversation along.
Following Wagner’s departure, the commission voted on bylaws changes—specifically a change to its titles. The changes passed unanimously and officers now will be known as chair (from senior chair), junior chair (which stays the same) and junior chair elect (from chair elect).
In other commission business, Allison Dykes of the Association of Emory Alumni was unanimously approved as junior chair, a position that had been vacant. Dykes previously was junior chair elect. To fill the junior chair elect slot, the commission unanimously selected Nadine Kaslow, professor of psychiatry.
The next PCSW meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. in 400 Administration.
If you have a question or concern for PCSW, e-mail Gilbert at email@example.com.