commons lawn in the summer, houses in distance

Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Title IX process and procedures

Sexual harassment and misconduct subverts the educational mission of Bennington College and threatens the wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff. Conduct, whether intentional or unintentional, that results in sexual harassment or misconduct is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Bennington College is committed to offering and providing support to individuals who have experienced, or know of someone who has experienced, an incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault. 

If you are in immediate danger

Find a safe location and contact Campus Safety by dialing 767 (SOS) on campus or 802-447-4250 from any non-campus phone. Campus Safety staff will provide assistance to you and can help you make connections to medical, psychological, and other staff and resources, as needed.

the pond at sunset

IF YOU ARE NOT IN IMMEDIATE DANGER

If you want to talk to someone confidentially, contact Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, at x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE) from any non-campus phone. Should you be unable to contact her immediately, leave a message and your call will be returned within six hours. 

Policy and Resources

Policy and Procedures Governing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policy and Procedures

Resources and Support

On-campus resources (confidential)

Confidential resources are not required to report information to the Title IX Coordinator. There are some exceptions, such as an immediate and/or serious threat to a person. For additional information, please refer to the Bennington College Policy and Procedures Governing Sexual Harassment and Misconduct.

  • Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE). She is a resource for students who have experienced sexual misconduct. Ali can speak to someone about the process, provide assistance navigating services and offer assistance and support.
  • All clinical staff in Psychological Services (x4451; off campus 802-440-4451)
  • All clinical staff in Health Services (x4426; off campus 802-440-4426)

Off-campus resources

Medical and Emotional Considerations

Medical Considerations

Consider a medical evaluation for your own safety and well-being. A medical evaluation done by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can be an important part of a criminal investigation and the collection of physical evidence. This exam is usually called a sexual assault forensic exam. Agreeing to a medical examination does not obligate you to pursue legal action. You may also choose to have a medical examination that does not include the collection of forensic evidence, and that is ok. 

  • If it is an emergency or you feel unsafe, contact Campus Safety by dialing 767 (SOS) on campus or 802-447-4250 from any noncampus phone.
  • You may contact the Director of Student Health Promotion, a confidential support on campus who can facilitate your medical need. She can be reached at 802-440-4673 (HOPE) 24/7 when school is in session. The Director of Student Health Promotion can arrange for you to be examined in the emergency room at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, or you may wish to contact the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center directly by calling 802-447-5300.
  • The forensic examination has two goals: first, to treat the full extent of any injuries or physical trauma and to consider the possibilities of sexually transmitted infection or pregnancy; and second, to obtain legally correct evidence (i.e., articles of clothing) in case you decide to report the crime to the police. You may wish to preserve physical evidence such as articles of clothing and the like. You may report the crime to the police at any time, but do not have to at the time of the exam. 
  • Bennington College Health Services provides routine screening and testing for STIs. Routine screenings may be done anytime by appointment.

Emotional Considerations

You may experience a wide range of emotions in the days, months, and years following an incident. Healing takes time and everyone reacts to trauma in a unique way. The Director of Student Health Promotion can facilitate your connections with counselors on campus who can assist you with tending to your emotional responses. 

If you need immediate assistance from a psychological counselor on campus you can dial x767 (SOS) on campus or 802-447-4250 from any noncampus phone, emergency personnel on campus can arrange for you to speak with the Psychological Services on-call counselor.

If you are not in immediate need of aid or protection, consider contacting the Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE), who can discuss your options as well as to assist you with any accommodations or care your may need.

Understanding Your Options

What you choose to do after an experience of sexual misconduct is your decision. You may decide to pursue a Title IX complaint with the College or a criminal complaint with the police or both or neither. Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE) is available to discuss your options as well as to assist you with any accommodations or care you may need.

Alcohol and Drug Use Amnesty 

It is of paramount importance to the College that all perceived violations of the sexual misconduct policy be reported, so that those affected can receive the support and resources needed. Therefore, in order to facilitate reporting, students, acting in good faith, who report violations of this policy will not be subject to disciplinary action for violations of Student Conduct standards related to alcohol use and/or drug use. While no disciplinary action will be taken for alcohol use and/or drug use, Bennington College reserves the right to take steps necessary to address health and safety concerns for the individual and the community.

Retaliation

Any attempt by a member of the College community to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate in any way against a person because he or she makes a report or complaint of sexual harassment, or who is otherwise involved in a sexual harassment investigation or hearing, is prohibited. Any person who believes that he or she has been retaliated against should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator. Any person who takes such retaliatory actions will be subject to disciplinary action.

No Contact Orders

No contact orders are routinely issued to restrict contact and communication between a complainant and a respondent for the duration of a Title IX investigation. No contact orders are not disciplinary in nature although a violation of them could result in College discipline. For questions regarding no contact orders please contact the Director of Campus Safety.

The Clery Report 

View a link to the report

The Title IX Team

Oceana Wilson
Oceana Wilson
Acting Dean of the College
Crossett Library

Title IX Coordinator 

call owilson@bennington.edu call 802-440-4610
ChristineWinget
Christine Winget
Associate Dean of Student Life

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students

call christinewinget@bennington.edu call 802-440-4390
HeatherFaley
Heather Faley
Director of Human Resources
Faculty Row 2

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff

call hfaley@bennington.edu call 802-440-4423
Alison Tartaglia
Ali Tartaglia, DrPH
Director of Student Health Promotion
Student Health Center

CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCE

Available as an advisor of choice for complainants 

call alisontartaglia@bennington.edu call 802-440-4755
Sarah Blizzard
Sarah Blizzard
Assistant Director of Residential Life
Barn North

Available as an advisor of choice for respondents

call sarahblizzard@bennington.edu call 802-440-4726
Ken Collamore
Ken Collamore
Director of Campus Safety
Buildings & Grounds
call kcollamore@bennington.edu call 802-440-4420
Natalie Basil
Natalie Basil
Dean of Students
Barn North
call nataliebasil@bennington.edu call 802-447-4220
shannonhowlett
Shannon Howlett
Executive Assistant
Barn 101
call shannonhowlett@bennington.edu call 802-440-4302
AudryHerbig
Audry Herbig
Assistant Director of Human Resources
Faculty Row 2
call audryherbig@bennington.edu call 802-440-4655
John Bullock
John Bullock
Acting Provost of the College
Barn 123B
call jbullock@bennington.edu call 802-440-4472

FAQs

Is there a time limit for making a Title IX complaint?

There is no time limit for making a Title IX complaint.

Can I pursue a Title IX complaint with the College and a criminal complaint with the police at the same time?

Yes, you may simultaneously pursue a Title IX complaint with the College and a criminal complaint with the police. If you would like help contacting law enforcement agencies the Office of Campus Safety can assist you.

Will my information be confidential?

People on campus who can assure confidentiality are not required to report information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without your permission. There are some exceptions to this, for example in the case of an immediate and/or serious threat to yourself or others. For additional information, please refer to the policy.  

Confidential resources are:

  • Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE)
  • All clinical staff in Psychological Services (x4451; off campus 802-440-4451)
  • All clinical staff in Health Services (x4426; off campus 802-440-4426)

Except for confidential resources, all other College officials, including House Chairs, must report sexual harassment or misconduct. Although the information is not confidential we will always ensure your privacy, meaning that information is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

What if the person involved is not a member of the Bennington College community?

For the purposes of a Title IX complaint, a respondent is an individual student, faculty, staff, or third party over whom the College has some form of jurisdiction. Even if the individual is not in one of the categories, support and resources are still available to you. Please contact Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE)

My friend told me about an experience of sexual misconduct. What can I do to help?

When a friend confides that they have experienced some form of sexual misconduct, in can be difficult for someone to know how to respond. At the core what is helpful for those who have experienced sexual misconduct to hear is that 1) we believe them 2) it is not their fault and 3) that they are not alone. These are three simple things that mean so much to friends who have experienced this trauma. Equally important in these situations is to ensure that all decisions about what to do are made by your friend. Sexual misconduct is about taking control away from someone and we want to help them by putting them back in control. Before touching or hugging them, calling anyone else, etc. make sure that you ask for permission. This begins the process of empowerment. 

  • Offer to contact Ali Tartaglia 802-440-4673 (HOPE)

Will my parents be notified? 

Bennington College does not notify parents about a student’s involvement in a Title IX case, however, in the case of a medical emergency, the College may contact your parents.

 

What if I didn't file a police report? 

You do not have to file a police report to pursue a Title IX complaint with the College. 

 

Is there anyone who can answer my questions without anyone knowing? 

Ali Tartaglia, Director of Student Health Promotion, x4673 (HOPE) on campus or 802-440-4673 (HOPE) can answer your questions about the Title IX process and resources confidentially. In cases of serious and/or immediate threat to yourself or others, reporting to other College officials is required.