Zero Tolerance Pledge
The #MeToo campaign, created by civil rights activist Tarana Burke in 2007, surged in prominence as a social media hashtag in October 2017 after actress Alyssa Milano called for victims of sexual assault and harassment to post #MeToo on Twitter. Within 24 hours, more than 12 million women and men posted the hashtag on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.
The movement has forced a once-taboo subject into the limelight and brought critical attention to the education sector-from the more than 200 women testifying to one university doctor's depredations to the Emmy-nominated film "The Hunting Ground". Higher education institutions are responding to the challenge by examining and revising procedures and policies, but students are not the only ones subject to harassment or unwelcome advances.
Advancement professionals have encountered everything from unwanted comments to touches, kisses and grabs. As leaders, it is our responsibility to right wrongs, to create a safe environment, to educate our colleagues and volunteers, and to ensure that standards are in place to protect staff, volunteers and our institutions.
CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham led a distinguished panel in a discussion about this important issue at the CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement in New York City. The purpose of the conversation was to hone in on how sexual assault and harassment can impact the working environment for professionals advancing education.
It is also an issue that can profoundly affect our work and impact negatively on our institutions.
During the session, panelists also introduced a new zero tolerance pledge from CASE. The CASE pledge was drafted in consultation with roughly 30 of the council's members who work in fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing at colleges and private schools. CASE encourages its members to commit to zero tolerance at their institutions and to cut ties with anyone who harasses staff, including donors.
President and CEO
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations
The George Washington University
Mary Sue Coleman
Association of American Universities
James T. Harris, III
President, University of San Diego
Chair, CASE Board of Trustees
Vice Chancellor, University Advancement,
University of California, Riverside
President, UC Riverside Foundation