Susquehanna has recently announced a new program in which victims and assailants in Title IX cases will receive joint sessions at the Counseling Center.
Citing worries that there will be miscommunication between students, the school has decided to enact this policy in order to eliminate any chances of misunderstanding.
“We want this to be an environment free of shame and doubt that focuses on the persons involved before moving to the more public sphere,” said head counselor Barbara Stielson. “I mean, imagine all the scrutiny that comes out once a case is publicized. You never really get control of your life back after that.”
While the sessions will focus on both participants, the school has hinted that this change is in response to the constant gossip on campus about who is or is not a rapist. By taking early action, the school hopes to cut down on the backlash against those who assaulted someone before they are brought through the arduous reporting process.
Early student participants have reported that with the emphasis on communication rather than punishment, assailants will finally have a chance to tell their side of the story, as heartbreaking as it is for them to return to the event.
“I just want to be able to heal properly,” said sophomore Katie Frommer, who praised the new program. “I can’t imagine going through this entire process and still being emotionally unresolved.”