By Jen Cardone | The Duquesne Duke
Duquesne appointed a former freshman development director to serve as a primary source for students and faculty who feel victim of discrimination or sexual harassment.
Sean Weaver, the University’s new director for the Office of Anti-Discrimination Policy and Compliance in the Division of Legal Affairs, is now serving as the school’s Title IX coordinator.
Weaver is currently reviewing the school’s discrimination and sexual harassment policies, and wants the University body to know where to go if they have an issue with either.
Weaver, who was previously the director of freshman development and special student services, said the new position was not created because of any recent discriminatory issues on campus.
“It takes a lot to create a new position—schools change, universities change—some positions become antiquated and new ones need to be created,” Weaver said. “Think about it. Years ago there was no IT department. This was a good move for the University; it shows us being proactive.”
Weaver said that in his career he has had experience with adjudication, “discipline that did not happen in the residence halls came to me.”
At Princeton University, he was on the fairness review program board where they would determine if someone was treated unfairly by judging the documentation and evidence.
“I was always working with people, so discipline always came up,” Weaver said.
Title IX originally began as a way for female athletes to get equal opportunity on campus but now serves as a sexual harassment law, according to Weaver.
The Title IX website says the law is still critical because “eight in 10 students experience some form of harassment during their school years, and more than 25 percent of them experience it often.”
Prior to Weaver’s appointment, Cheryl Knoch, assistant vice president for student life, presided over discriminatory issues and served as the Title IX coordinator.
Knoch said it was just an added responsibility to her position. The government Office of Civil Rights requires all universities to have someone in charge of Title IX cases. Knoch said she focused on the discriminatory piece of the law.
“Any type of sexual misconduct involving a student had to be reported to me, or it had to make its way to me,” Knoch said. “I just had to ensure that the alleged incident was investigated properly by either Student Conduct, Affirmative Action or the police depending on severity of the complaint or incident.”
Madelyn Reilly, associate general counsel and director of risk management, oversees Weaver’s position.
Reilly will work alongside Weaver on the Title IX Coordinating Committee with Knoch, Ryan Dawson,
Ian Edwards, Alexandra Gregory, Judith Griggs and Phil Raciot “to ensure campus-wide consistency” in the policies and procedures when incidents of sexual harassment arise.
Reilly said she is “delighted” that Weaver was given the position because he is “very approachable, an excellent listener and a practical problem solver.”
“[Weaver] is sensitive to issues of equity and confidentiality and will do everything possible to ensure that effective resources are in place to address complex issues relating to Title IX compliance, discrimination claims and policies relating to minors and volunteers on our campus,” Reilly said.
To fill the vacancy left by Weaver’s promotion, Adam Wasilko was named the University’s new director of freshman development and special student services.
“I am incredibly excited to be taking on this new position,” Wasilko said.