“Informed by the presence of diverse interpretations of the human experience, Holy Cross seeks to build a community marked by freedom, mutual respect, and civility.” - Mission Statement, College of the Holy Cross
The prevention of sexual assault, relationship violence and sexual harassment is aligned with the mission of the College, where students are challenged to answer the question “What are our obligations to one another?” Respect for, and obligation to, another individual is the foundation of healthy relationships and the key to prevention.
Consistent with this mission, the College of the Holy Cross provides prevention programming and educational opportunities throughout the year and throughout a student’s time at the College. Education begins at orientation, where College staff members discuss the College’s policy prohibiting sexual assault and relationship violence, resources and safety. Incoming students also participate in online programming that discusses the importance of understanding healthy relationships, definitions of prohibited behaviors and the intersection between alcohol and sexual assault. During the first month of school, Freshmen participate in bystander programming instruction facilitated by the College’s Relationship Peer Educators.
Programming is also offered to community members throughout the year. The Relationship Peer Educators (RPEs), a student organization, is a key partner in the College’s awareness raising and prevention efforts. The RPEs provide ongoing programming opportunities on healthy relationships and the root issues underlying sexual violence. In addition, students participate in other opportunities to raise their awareness of these issues and reduce risk, including Take Back the Night vigil, sponsored by the Women’s Forum, and R.A.D. self-defense classes, offered by the Office of Public Safety.
New employees participate in sexual harassment prevention training, and all employees are offered training on the College’s policy prohibiting sexual misconduct. In addition, through a variety of academic programs and departments, including the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies concentration, the College offers numerous opportunities to learn from guest speakers on the topic of gender, including sexual assault, dating violence, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and other gender/sex-related topics.
Programming and educational opportunities are offered through a variety of departments: the S.A.F.E.R. presidential committee, the department of public safety, the office of residential life, the counseling center, the chaplain’s office, academic departments, the office of student involvement, the athletic department, the gender, sexuality and women’s studies concentration, human resources and the office of the director of Title IX initiatives, all provide programs to community members to facilitate an understanding of these issues with the goals of prevention, bystander awareness, risk reduction, and awareness raising.