Power-Conscious Approaches to Eradicating Campus Sexual Violence
Effectively addressing campus sexual violence continues to challenge college and university educators and administrators across the country. The compliance culture in which we live forces many administrators and educators to respond quickly without much time for intentional reflection and engagement about context-specific strategies for addressing sexual violence. Add to the mix heightened media attention, lawsuits, and student activism, and the context becomes even more challenging. Many of the strategies employed on college and university campuses are developed through a one-size-fits-all approach and focus on responding to sexual violence after it happens, rather than strategies to eradicate sexual violence altogether. Further, perpetrators of sexual violence target minoritized people (people of color, queer and trans people, and people with disabilities) at higher rates than their dominant group peers, requiring us to consider intersectional, power-conscious approaches to addressing sexual violence.
This series of workshops provides opportunities for members of your campus community to come together and engage in reflection and discussion to develop a specific action plan to address campus sexual violence in your context. As a scholar-activist, researcher, and former university administrator, I strive to blend historical context, awareness of power, practical experience, research, and innovative strategies for addressing campus sexual violence to engage participants. Prior to the workshop series, I will meet virtually with members of the campus task force or planning committee to discuss the campus’s specific needs and any modifications to the workshops necessary. Additionally, following the workshop series, I will meet with the committee again to share observations, insights, and suggestions based on my time with campus community members and to answer any questions that may have arisen during or after the workshops.
Part I: Setting a Foundation
What’s My Role? Considering Multiple Perspectives to Address Campus Sexual Violence
Time: 2 hours (interactive, workshop style)
Audience: Specific campus officials invested in addressing campus sexual violence, including police, Title IX investigators, victim advocates, and others invited by the planning committee
This workshop is designed to engage people from a variety of perspectives to more effectively work together to address campus sexual violence. Many people across campus (police, Title IX administrators, victim advocates, students, staff, and faculty) have a vested interest in addressing campus sexual violence. Although we sometimes approach our work from differing philosophies, our end goal is the same: end sexual violence. In this workshop, we will examine the histories of a variety of policies influencing our response to campus sexual violence (e.g., Title IX, The Clery Act) to better understand our current context. Further will reflect on the various experiences, philosophies, and expectations that each of us brings to addressing sexual violence to better understand each other’s perspectives and investments. We will conclude by examining strategies to more effectively support each other and work together.
Examining History and Power to Address Campus Sexual Violence
Time: 1.5 hours (lecture/keynote style)
Audience: Anyone from the campus community who is interested (especially important for people engaged in the workshops following to set a foundation)
In this talk, Chris provides an accessible overview of the historical roots of sexual violence in the U.S. including ties to colonization and slavery. She will then draw connections between the historical roots of sexual violence and current practices on college campuses, providing strategies for consideration to more effectively address campus sexual violence from a power-conscious, historical perspective. Examples of strategies include providing multiple alternatives for victim-survivors to pursue resolution to their cases and shifting frameworks to focusing on perpetrators to end sexual violence.
Part II: Developing an Action Plan
Developing Context-Specific, Innovative, and Power-Conscious Approaches to Eradicate Campus Sexual Violence
Time: 4 hours (interactive workshop style)
Audience: student affairs educators and additional campus partners
As attention to campus sexual violence has grown over the past several years, college and university administrators have been pressured to respond quickly to comply with local and federal legislation and guidance on addressing sexual violence on their campuses. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a hyper-focus on compliance and responding to sexual violence after it happens, rather than preventing it from happening in the first place. Further, many administrators and educators have been pressured to use nationally developed one-size-fits-all “best practices” to educate students about campus sexual violence, rather than developing unique context-specific strategies for their campuses. In this session, Chris will introduce a power-conscious framework and some examples of power-conscious strategies for sexual violence prevention, then focus the rest of the time on empowering student affairs staff and their campus partners to do what we do best: problem-solve from a creative, power-conscious perspective. Participants will leave this session with several specific strategies they can employ within their circles of influence to immediately address campus sexual violence, and an action plan to further develop educational programming for the campus community.
Beyond Mandatory Reporting: The Role of Faculty in Addressing Campus Sexual Violence
Time: 90 minutes (interactive/workshop style)
Faculty play a unique role in educating students about campus sexual violence. Many faculty on campus have personal investment or research and teaching interests directly related to campus sexual violence, yet feel unsure about how to address these issues in through their work. In this workshop, we’ll explore a variety of strategies for faculty to engage the topic of sexual violence through their teaching, research, and service and to support the campus-wide efforts designed to address campus sexual violence. Specifically, we’ll examine strategies for integrating information about sexual violence through the lens of a variety of disciplines to more effectively reach students in a multitude of ways.
Building Equitable and Effective Student-Led Movements to Eradicate Sexual Violence
Time: 90 minutes
Eradicating sexual violence requires student leaders and activists to engage a variety of strategies to effectively work with different stakeholders, including peers, media representatives, university administrators, state and federal-level policy makers, among others. Sometimes, we need to be in the streets (and on social media) with protest signs; other times, we need to be in suits sitting around a table with policy makers and administrators, speaking their language. In this session, we will consider the many roles of sexual violence activists and develop strategies for navigating a variety of roles from our individual social locations. Finally, we will examine our unique strengths and how those may best contribute to the movement to eradicate sexual violence.
Responses to Chris’s Workshops:
"Dr. Linder’s power-conscious framework provides an important new approach to prevent sexual assault. In her presentation, she provided compelling examples, fielded challenging questions, and created an environment to consider some of the most complex issues facing higher education professionals today."
- Dr. Michael Hevel, Department Head and Associate Professor of Higher Education, Rehabilitation, Human Resources, and Communication Disorders, University of Arkansas
“Dr. Linder presented a sensitive topic in a very caring and meaningful way. It was exactly what we needed as we reconsider how we provide support and services to our students.”
– Dr. Lori Lander, AVP for Campus Life, University of Arkansas
”We were grateful for the opportunity to have Dr. Chris Linder facilitate our workshop as she is an engaging, intentional, and dynamic professional who combines experience as an academic researcher and professor with firsthand experience previously serving as a practitioner within campus-based women’s centers. It was wonderful welcoming Chris back to campus (she led a session at our office’s national conference the year before) to share her knowledge and skills with our audience including strategizing ways to continue to be more involved in campus prevention and education efforts.”
- Michele Passonno, Assistant Director, The Office of Respect, Emory University