Williams College Policy: Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus Research

Effective Date: 7/1/2023
Approval Date: 7/1/2023
Approval Office: Dean of Faculty Office

Williams College is committed to maintaining a fair, respectful, and inclusive environment in which all members of its community feel safe and can participate fully and grow. College faculty, staff, and students are expected to abide by the Williams College Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook, and/or Student Code of Conduct at all times, including when participating in off-campus educational experiences. These experiences may include but are not limited to course-based travel, internships, conferences, fieldwork, and other off-campus research.

Off-campus experiences present incredible learning and working opportunities, but they can also present special challenges. These may stem, for example, from living and working in close proximity with others, traveling to locations that are isolated or to countries with different customs or languages, and interacting with people from outside the Williams community.

Williams faculty, staff, and students involved in off-campus experiences are expected to contribute to an environment where group members feel safe and secure and where diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives are honored. Group leaders should think critically prior to the start of any off-campus experience about how to nurture an inclusive environment, which may include targeted training; developing shared definitions of roles, responsibilities, and desired culture; and documenting safety protocols specific to the experience and location. Additional information about safety planning is below.

Expected Behavior: The following is expected of all participants:

  • Be kind, considerate, and respectful of all participants, acknowledging a diversity of experiences, views, and opinions.
  • Communicate openly and with respect for others.
  • Respect the laws, rules, and policies of the off-campus venues and any guidelines created by trip leaders.
  • Comply with the Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook, or Student Code of Conduct, as applicable.

Prohibited Behavior: The following behavior is prohibited and will not be tolerated:

Participants who engage in prohibited behavior may be asked to leave the trip and be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the procedures described in the relevant college handbook.

Safety Planning: All faculty and staff trip leaders should engage in safety planning prior to the start of a trip, which should include:

  • Conducting a risk assessment of the trip and destination and thinking through steps to mitigate risks, keeping in mind special risks that may be present for people of certain identities. The college’s travel insurance provider, International SOS, may be helpful in conducting this assessment.
  • Drafting protocols to mitigate identified risks and procedures for documenting incidents when away.
  • Drafting safety tips for all participants specific to the trip and destination.
  • Sharing identified risks, safety tips, and other protocols with participants prior to leaving, ideally in a meeting so that each can be part of a discussion among group members.

Reporting: Participants are encouraged to speak with a faculty or staff member or other trusted person if they feel physically unsafe or at risk, whatever the reason, or experience or observe any of the prohibited behaviors listed above.

If a participant experiences or observes harassment or sexual misconduct, they are encouraged to speak with another member of the trip or to the police or other civil authority where they are located.* Trip leaders can be helpful in locating local medical, legal, and safety resources. When in a foreign country, the US Embassy may also be helpful in identifying local resources. It is the participant’s decision whether to report an incident, and reporting can happen at any time.

In addition to local resources, participants may always make use of campus and national resources, including those listed below.

Williams Confidential Resources

  • Sexual Assault Survivor Services (SASS) – 413-597-3000
  • Health Center clinical staff – 413-597-2206
  • Integrative Wellbeing Services staff – 413-597-2353
  • Chaplains – 413-597-2483
  • Meg Bossong, Director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response – 413-597-4977

Williams Non-Confidential Resources/To Report Sexual Misconduct to the College

  • Campus Safety and Security – 413-597-4444
  • Any Dean at the Dean of the College’s Office – 413-597-4261
  • Title IX Coordinator, Toya C. Camacho – 413-597-3301
  • VP for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Leticia S.E. Haynes – 413-597-4376
  • Deputy Title IX Coordinators
    • Gretchen Long – 413-597-2044
    • Danielle Gonzalez – 413-597-2058
    • Lara Shore-Sheppard – 413-597-2226

*Note that almost all Williams College faculty and staff are mandatory reporters, which means that if you share information about sexual misconduct, they are required by law to report it to the college’s Title IX Coordinator.

Non-Williams Resources

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-4673
  • Elizabeth Freeman Center – 866-401-2425

Additional resources are listed on the college’s Intimate Violence Prevention & Response and Health Education website.

To Report Other Misconduct to the College

  • Any Dean in the Dean of the College’s Office – 413-597-4261

To Report Sexual Assault or Other Illegal Activity to the U.S. Police

  • Call 911

Information about available options and processes following a report to the College can be found in the Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook, and Student Handbook.