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Students, Administrators Still Forming Task Force

By Veronica Rosales

One week after a meeting of 50 students, deans and Ad Board members focusing on the problem of date rape on campus, students and administrators are still in the process of establishing a special task force to examine the issue.

The Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) earlier this month urged the College's Administrative Board to review its treatment of date rape cases after Board members explained that victims' inability to provide proof often makes these cases difficult to resolve.

The task force that will be formed on the issue will consist of approximately 15 members selected from the student body, faculty, administration and rape experts, according to Assistant Dean for Co-Education Janet A. Vigianni.

According to Serena Volpp '92, co-president of RUS, experts for the task force will likely come from groups such as the Rape Crisis Center of Boston, the Witness Advocacy Program in the Boston District Attorney's Office, and the Cambridge Comission on the Status of Women. "Contacts have not been made yet," Volpp said.

One of the expert advisors being considered is Nadja B. Gould, a rape counselor at University Health Services (UHS), Viggiani said.

Several Candidates

"As a social worker, I am very concerned about how it [rape] is handled," Gould said. "I'm not sure rape cases can be best handled by a body formed to deal with academic and disciplinary concerns."

She added that several groups have approached her about the task force, but nothing concrete has yet been agreed upon.

"I hope the goal of the task force is to encourage the climate of the college so that women will feel more comfortable," she said.

The task force will focus on promoting education about date rape to students, administrators and tutors, as well as instituting changes in current Ad Board procedures in these cases, Volpp said.

"The point of the task force is to get a lot of work done on a very short time," she added.

Viggiani will co-chair the task force along with a student. RUS planned to elect a student co-chair at a special meeting late last night.

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