Dean of Students

Sexual Assault Working Group

News and Announcements

About the Working Group

  • Assistant VP of Campus Life and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky chairs the Sexual Assault Working Group (SAWG). The Group is charged with (1) ensuring continuity in sexual assault prevention commitments and (2) continuing to shape AU’s intervention strategies consistent with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2013. The committee’s work is transparent, as are the data gathered on students’ experiences with sexual violence and on the effectiveness of the measures we implement. Recommendations formulated by Student Government are integrated into the SAWG agenda.
  • In Spring 2015, the Sexual Assault Working Group:
    • Heightened the visibility of victim advocate services by branding victim advocacy services “OASIS”- Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal & Sexual violence in the Wellness Center;
    • Developed a flowchart to guide students through confidential and non-confidential resources;
    • Expanded information brochures to address sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking;
    • Viewed a selection of online educational programs on sexual violence to identify the best alternatives for our campus community; recommend that the campus community adopt the Think About It program.
    • Expanded web resources to explain the role of victim advocates and better articulate the resources available to students; and
    • Proposed additions to the Student Conduct Code and Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Town Hall Meetings on Sexual Assault Prevention are hosted twice annually by SAWG. The Fall 2015 Town Hall Meeting was held Monday, Oct. 5, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., McDowell Formal Lounge. The Spring 2016 Town Hall has not yet been announced.

Charge, Steering Committee, and Subcommittee Structure, 2015-2016

Charge: The Sexual Assault Working Group (SAWG) is charged with reviewing the university’s efforts on issues of interpersonal and sexual violence including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. The Working Group will assess current efforts, identify areas for improvement, and make recommendations to the Vice President of Campus Life to ensure that our campus approach is comprehensive, effective, and compliant with Title IX and the Campus Save Act. SAWG is organized into a Steering Committee with five subcommittees focused on student advocacy and support, campus awareness and education, university policies and procedures, outreach and communications, and assessment.

Reports to:  Dr. Gail Hanson, Vice President of Campus Life

Chair:  Dr. Rob Hradsky, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students

2014-15 Steering Committee Members

Faculty and Staff Representatives

  • Sara Yzaguirre, OASIS
  • Tessa Telly, Wellness Center
  • Traci Callandrillo, Counseling Center
  • Sherry Weaver, Washington College of Law
  • Kevin Barrett, Public Safety
  • Katie Porras, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services
  • Colin Gerker, Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Dong Jun Choi, International Student and Scholar Services
  • Cait Bjellquist, Housing and Dining Programs
  • Jane Palmer, SPA (Public Admin and Policy)
  • Kerry Diekmann, Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Jessica Waters, SPA (Dean's Office)
  • Athena Argyropoulos, Athletics
  • Christine Gettings, Center for Community Engagement and Service
  • Jenn Knowles, Kay Spiritual Life Center
  • Desiree Francis, Student Health Center


Student Representatives: 

  • Shannon McDermott, Student Government
  • Vacant, Women’s Initiative
  • Naomi Zeigler, Students Against Sexual Violence
  • Amanda Molina, Student Bar Association
  • Sophia Wirth, Graduate Leadership Council
  • Cristina Chlan, Residence Hall Association
  • Brandon Ranallo, Graduate Student
  • Samantha Dos Santos, Law Student
  • Evie Unsworth, Student Trustee
  • Michelle Le, Panhel Representative
  • John Atiyeh, IFC Representative
  • Chloe Krueger, Media Board Representative
  • TBD, AU Club Council (AUCC) Rep
  • Liz Pancotti, Undergraduate Student
  • Anna Kasibhatla, Undergraduate Student

Resource Person(s):

Justin Perillo, Office of General Counsel

Committee Structure

The full steering committee meets biweekly with subcommittee meetings occurring on alternate weeks. Each subcommittee is charged with 1) assessing the university’s efforts in the assigned area including benchmarking best practices; 2) identifying recommendations to more closely align with best practices, and 3) developing an implementation plan. Each subcommittee is chaired by a member of the steering committee, and steering committee members are expected to serve on one of the subcommittees. Membership on the subcommittees is drawn from both steering committee members and the general campus community.

1. Student Advocacy and Support

This subcommittee will review the advocacy and support services available to AU students and recommend enhancements in this area.
Chair: Sara Yzaguirre, Coordinator of Victim Advocacy Services, OASIS/Wellness Center
Members: Kevin Barrett, Haley Hawkins, Megan Huber, Shannon Miller, Sherry Weaver, Hannah Wohlfahrt

2. Campus Awareness and Education

This subcommittee will review current initiatives to create awareness and educate the campus community about interpersonal and sexual violence including dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, and make recommendations for on-going work in this area. In 2015-16, the committee will review the implementation of Think About It and Empower AU, and make recommendations for modifications to these programs.
Chair: Tessa Telly, Director, Wellness Center
Members: Cristina Chlan, Dong Jun Choi, Desiree Francis, Christine Gettings, Michelle Le, Megan O’Toole, Sophia Wirth

3. University Policies and Procedures

This subcommittee will review the university’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and corresponding policies such as the Student Conduct Code, and make recommendations for enhancements to existing policies and procedures.
Chair: Katie Porras, Director, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services
Members: Athena Argyropoulos, Kerry Diekmann, Amanda Gould, Jenn Knowles, Liz Pancotti, Jessica Waters

4. Outreach and Communication

This subcommittee serves as the marketing arm of the Sexual Assault Working Group informing the campus community about SAWG activities, events, and accomplishments. The subcommittee oversees the SAWG website, records and publishes minutes of Steering Committee meetings, and works to promote transparency in the work of SAWG.
Co-Chairs: Colin Gerker, Asst. Dir, Fraternity/Sorority Life; Naomi Zeigler, Undergraduate Student
Members: Erica Gillaspy, Chloe Krueger

5. Assessment

This subcommittee reviews, analyzes and presents data from campus climate surveys such as the National College Health Assessment, Think About It, and the Biennial Survey of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, and Bystander Intervention to develop a picture of the AU student experience, knowledge, and resource needs. The data will be utilized to inform the work of the other subcommittees, and to set priorities moving forward.
Co-Chairs: Jane Palmer, SPA, Public Administration and Policy; Brandon Ranallo, SPA Graduate Student
Members: Cait Bjellquist, Anna Kasibhatla