The Vermont Connection


Kristin Lang


In September 2008, two top University of Iowa officials were fired as a result of the university’s mishandling of a 2007 sexual assault case. A review conducted by an external law firm found many significant flaws in the university’s response and its sexual assault policy. Colleges are rewriting their sexual assault policies to include more precise and/or legal definitions of terms such as sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, consent, and incapacitation. This article examines why it is necessary to have inclusive language in sexual misconduct policies and how campus officials are incorporating victim’s bill of rights, responsibilities, and confidential resources, in order to educate students, staff, and faculty. Looking to recently updated sexual misconduct and assault policies deemed “model” as a basis for reference, this article aims to explore the challenges university officials face in rewriting policy.