Title IX, Sexual Harassment, and Misconduct
Bennington College Title IX Commitment Statement
The College is committed to providing a learning and working environment that affirms the dignity and inherent worth of every member of the College community regardless of a person's assigned sex at birth, biological sex and genetic makeup, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. Members of Bennington College (the “ College”) community including students, faculty, or any other person employed by, contracted with or invited to the College, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. All members of the College community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.
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 document linked above.
- Ali Tartaglia, Assistant Dean and Director of Wellness, can be reached at 802-440-4755 or 802-440-4444 (talk or text) for 24/7 support (confidential) 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 Counseling and Psychological Services (x4451; off campus 802-440-4451)
- All clinical staff in Health Services (x4426; off campus 802-440-4426)
- Bennington Police 802-442-1030
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
- Project Against Violent Encounters (PAVE) 802-442-2111
- Southwestern Vermont Medical Center 802-447-5300 | Forensic exam with a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is available.
- United Counseling Services (UCS) 802-442-5491
Medical and Emotional 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 non-campus phone.
- You may contact the Assistant Dean and Director of Wellness, a confidential support on campus who can facilitate your medical need. She can be reached at 802-440-4444 (talk or text) for 24/7 support (confidential) when school is in session. The Assistant Dean and Director of Wellness, 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.
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 Assistant Dean and Director of Wellness, 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 non-campus phone, emergency personnel on campus can arrange for you to speak with the Counseling and Psychological Services on-call counselor.
If you are not in immediate need of aid or protection, consider contacting the Ali Tartaglia, Assistant Dean and Director of Wellness, who can discuss your options as well as to assist you with any accommodations or care your may need.
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.
Any attempt by a member of the College community to penalize, intimidate, or retaliate in any way against a person because he, she or they 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, she or they have been retaliated against should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator. Any person who takes such retaliatory actions will be subject to disciplinary action.
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.