College Council Discusses Title IX and the ‘Bias Incident’


Pictured are Dean Grimes (right), Moniot (center) and Coleman (near left). Grimes led the majority of the College Council meeting (CONNOR MANNION/THE OBSERVER)


On Thursday, Sept. 17, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) and Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) faculty convened for the first College Council of the academic year in order to discuss the business and concerns from the faculty, including Title IX reporting of sexual misconduct and bias incident that took place on Sept. 13. 

The council consisted of faculty from each department, alongside Keith Eldredge dean of students at FCLC, Robert Grimes, dean of FCLC, and a representative from each of the three student government bodies, the Residence Hall Association (RHA), Commuting Students Association (CSA) and United Student Government (USG).

There were new members also, including a representative from the Gabelli undergraduate class, Alec Padron, GSBLC ‘18 and USG Treasurer. Grimes had reminded the present faculty the amended constitution that was “re-drafted to include a representative from both the GSBLC faculty and undergraduate class as voting members.”

“[I]f a student tells you, you need to be supportive and be there to explain the options that they have.” – Anastasia Coleman, Fordham Title IX Coordinator

Grimes had Anastasia Coleman, Fordham’s Title IX Coordinator and director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, give her presentation. Coleman was present at the meeting to review the guidelines for faculty needing to report any sexual misconduct on campus. “There are places students can go for confidential reporting, but if a student tells you, you need to be supportive and be there to explain the options that they have,” she continued.

Coleman also explained that a new law, “Yes Means Yes” goes into effect Oct. 5, which means students must have their rights explained to them at the time of the disclosure,” she said. “If you are ever in doubt or not sure if a student is alright, please reach out to us too because we can reach out to other offices as well.”

During the section for new business, Amir Idris, professor and chair of the African and African American studies department, asked for the council to address the “email of the racial slur incident at Rose Hill.”

Idris said, “I think it is a very important issue to talk about here, since students want to know what steps we’ve taken so far.”

Eldredge explained to the council how the incident is being investigated, as was explained in the security alert. “I know that the investigation was handed off to the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit and it is still underway, the update that I received yesterday [Sept. 16] was that they still have no leads.”

Eldredge continued, “We do a series of programs with new students on issues like this, usually talk more hypothetically about respect and issues like that, and now we have an opportunity to talk about this specific incident.”

“One of the immediate concerns we are hearing about from students is labeling this incident a bias incident” – Keith Eldredge, dean of students

Continuing on reported criticism of the language of the security alert, “one of the immediate concerns we are hearing about from students is labeling this incident a bias incident instead of a hate crime,” Eldredge said.

He explained that this was a consequence of NYPD policies on reporting and classifying hate crimes. “What would tip the scale this being a hate crime is what they [NYPD statutes] call a culpable mental state, definite information about the intent of the perpetrator.

“The police would only classify it as a hate crime once they have that information,” Eldredge said. “We’ve had conversation about the incident on this campus as well, and Black Student Alliance (BSA) here at Lincoln Center will be holding a meeting next Thursday [Sept. 24] that I imagine will be an open forum for students.”

Grimes asked if information about the forum could be sent to students next week, and Eldredge promised to have the information sent to the dean’s office next week so it may be sent out.

While there were many issues raised by the council, Grimes took time to mention the achievements of the students at Fordham, Lincoln Center as well. “Courtney Spears, a rising senior, has won a Princess Grace Award which provides her with full tuition for her senior year.”

He added, “Also, The Observer was ranked number eight on The Princeton Review list of the top 20 student newspapers.”

“I won’t mention who they were tied with,” Grimes added, jokingly.

Fordham was also named on’s list of the top schools for actors and actresses featured on Broadway. “We were listed at number eight, and for reference Yale was an honorable mention,” Grimes said.

The council also discussed the large class of 560 liberal arts freshmen, according to Robert Moniot, associate dean of FCLC. “The gender imbalance continues to be an imbalance this year, in that we still have more female than male students,” Grimes said.

New business from the office of the dean included introducing discussion of a new marketing minor. This minor was rejected for implementation at Fordham Lincoln Center a few years ago, due to the lack of business classes on campus.

Gwenyth Jackaway, associate chair of the communications and media studies (CMS) department, was concerned about the minor’s academic location. “Clearly marketing is kind of a communications field, not that we need more students, but it seems strange that a field of communications doesn’t have any of our classes.” Jackaway said. Grimes agreed with the criticism and said, “we’ll pass what was said here along so we can address it for the marketing minor plan.”

Grimes reminded the council of upcoming events like Senior Convocation on Oct. 17 and “Sophomore Convocation on Oct. 22,  a sort of celebration of the class and their achievements,” according to Grimes.

College Council will reconvene on Oct. 17 in the Bateman Room of the Fordham Law School.