President Carol Ann Mooney Announces Creation of Task Force on Sexual Violence

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Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

April 29, 2015 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Saint Mary’s College President Carol Ann Mooney announced to students, faculty, and staff this afternoon that she is creating a Presidential Task Force to take on the subject of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, a problem facing students on college campuses across the country, including Saint Mary’s. The move comes after the April 9 screening on campus of the recently released CNN documentary The Hunting Ground. Since the screening there have been two panel discussions on Saint Mary’s campus as well as a private talk last night between the president and students.

Here is the email the president issued this afternoon:

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

Last night, April 28, 2015, I met privately with students to listen to their thoughts on “The Hunting Ground” and the issues it has brought forward. I have decided to form a Presidential Task Force to continue the dialogue on the issue of sexual violence. This will be a Saint Mary’s task force, chaired by me, and comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Students have suggested that they be allowed to apply to be members of the task force and I accept that suggestion. Interested students should send a letter to my office before May 30. 

I will ask the Faculty Assembly to elect representatives or suggest an alternate way to select faculty members. I expect the task force to meet regularly beginning in the fall. As our work progresses we will welcome input from the greater community.

This task force will recommend ways to further improve our efforts to prevent sexual assault and sexual misconduct and to assist and support student survivors of sexual assault. It will also examine procedures for handling cases of sexual assault when they occur. We must ensure that we have the best possible policies and practices in place and improve our communication about them. Saint Mary’s College should be a national leader in this area.


Carol Ann Mooney
President, Saint Mary’s College

President Mooney held last night’s meeting with students to assure them, especially concerned seniors, that her attention to this issue will not end when classes end tomorrow. She is sincere in her commitment to continue the dialogue into the fall and beyond.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. In the fall of 2015 Saint Mary’s College will begin to offer two graduate degrees: a Master of Science and a Doctorate. All programs that fall under these degrees are co-educational and include a Master of Science in Data Science, a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate students, develop their talents, and prepare them to make a difference in the world. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015 published by U.S. News & World Report.

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