M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

Finding Aid for the
PRESIDENT'S TASK FORCE ON WOMEN'S SAFETY
RECORDS, 1986-1998

(UA-010.010)

For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Mark Wolfe
2001







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 1 cubic foot

ACQUISITION: These records were transferred to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, by Gloria DeSole in 2001.

ACCESS: Access to these records is unrestricted except where otherwise noted in the finding aid.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Adminstrative History

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder List


President's Task Force on Women's Safety
Administrative History

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The Task Force On Women's Safety was conceived in November 1979 in response to a series of assaults against women in Pine Hills, an Albany neighborhood where many students reside.[1] Subsequently, it was renamed "The President's Task Force on Women's Safety," and President Vincent O'Leary formalized it as an ad hoc committee in 1980.[2] The Task Force sought to "insure that the University at Albany is an environment in which all women can study and work safely" by setting directions for existing and proposed programs, reviewing efficacy of existing and proposed programs, and recommending policies to the President.[3]

Through workshops and initiatives, the Task Force raised the social conscience and attitudes of men and women toward issues of violence against women and sponsored programs to raise women’s consciousness about their rights. The Task Force collaborated with campus and community groups. In 1980, representatives of the SUNYA and Albany Police departments and SUNYA students formed a panel to host a public discussion concerning women’s safety.[4] The diverse nature of this meeting typified future meetings held; members of such groups as Counseling Services, the Office of Affirmative Action, the Student Association, and Public Safety were invited to report on the effectiveness of current and ongoing initiatives. As early as 1979, the Task Force began coordinating self-defense workshops for women and student foot-patrols.[5] From its inception, the Task Force advised the President on the continuing development of safety lighting, and begun the planning stage of the emergency [Blue Light] phone proposal.[6] In September of 1980, the Task Force oversaw the implementation of the Blue Light phones.[7] Through the 1990s, the Task Force developed lighting surveys and guidelines for continued recommendations of additional lighting and Blue Light phones.[8]

Task Force Chairs
John Hartigan, 1980
James Van Voorst, 1981, 1983, 1984
Patricia McCord, 1982-1983
Lisa Donohue, 1985-1987
Lisa Donohue and Heidi Voelk, 1988, 1989[?]
Lisa Donohue, Heidi Voelk, and Jerome "Skip" Hutson, 1990, 1991[?]
Gloria DeSole, 1992-1999

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Notes
1.  Memo from President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety to University Community March 10, 1980, Women’s Safety Task Force circa 1979-1980 folder, box 14 of the Affirmative Action Office, Office of Finance and Business records, see also footnote 4.
2.  Memo from President Vincent O’Leary to The Task Force On Women’s Safety on July 18, 1980, Women’s Safety 1980/1981 folder, box 101 of President O’Leary’s records, Office of the President’s records. A copy of the memo regarding the governmental structure of the task force was retained from President Vincent O’Leary to The Task Force on Women’s Safety on July 18, 1980, “Spring 1993 1 of 2" and “Spring 1995-Fall 1995 1 of 2" folder, President’s Task Force On Women’s Safety box.
3.  Report of Sub-Committee [Task Force] on Agenda and Structure approved on February 28, 1980, “Women’s Safety 1980/1981" folder, box 101 of President O’Leary’s records, Office of the President records.
4.  Albany Student Press news clipping March 11, 1980, Women’s Safety Task Force, 1979-1980, folder, Office of Affirmative Action, box 14.
5.  Notes of meeting on November 15, 1979, Women’s Safety Task Force, circa 1979-1980, Office of Affirmative Action, box 14.
6.  Ibid.
7.  Memo from Robert Stierer to President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety on September 10, 1980.
8.  Memo from Gloria DeSole to William Dosch on February 21, 1996, “Spring 1997" folder, President’s Task Force On Women’s Safety box.


President's Task Force on Women's Safety
Scope and content note

Back to Table of Contents

The Task Force On Women’s Safety was conceived in November 1979, and subsequently renamed “The President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety” and was formalized as an ad hoc committee in 1980 by President Vincent O'Leary. The Task Force sought to "insure that the University at Albany is an environment in which all women can study and work safely” by setting directions for existing and proposed programs, reviewing efficacy of existing and proposed programs, and recommending policies to the President. The records are arranged chronologically and include newspaper clippings, pamphlets, annual reports, safety surveys, newsletters, memos, and minutes. The “Task Force” box contains no records from its inception to 1985. The Affirmative Action Office files, however, contain minutes from 1979 to 1983 among other related records, and records regarding the early years of the Task Force may be found in President O’Leary’s files.[9] Gloria DeSole was former chair of the President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety and the former head of the Affirmative Action Office, and transferred the records to the University Archives in 2001.

The Task Force’s coordinated educational activities such as the “Empowerment Project,” 1992-1998, a local organization that the Task Force contracted for self-defense workshops and women’s safety discussions.[10] “A Few Good Men” workshops, 1993-1996, was “an ongoing organization that dealt with topics of men’s socialization relative to sexual assault and relationships with women.”[11] Volunteer student groups were coordinated such as Student Foot Patrol, 1979-1998, and "Don't Walk Alone” safety escort service," 1983-2001.[12] Recommendations for physical improvements to the campus safety included installation of "Blue Light" Emergency Phones, 1979-1998, and improved lighting, 1979-1998.[13] Safety device distribution programs were monitored such as "Lite [Light] Sense," 1994-1998, a safety program that distributed flashlights to students,[14] and “Whistle Watch," 1992-1997, a program that distributed whistles to students with Police phone numbers printed on them.[15]

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Notes
9.  See also box 101 of President O’Leary’s records, Office of the President records and the Affirmative Action Office, box 14 of the Affirmative Action Office, Office of Finance and Business records.
10.  Minutes of Meeting on August 4, 1992, Spring 1992 1 of 2 folder, President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety box.
11.  Minutes of meeting on December 13, 1993, Fall 1993, Spring 1994 1 of 2 folder, President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety box.
12.  Memo from “Don’t Walk Alone” Board of Directors to Frank Pogue on November 30, 1983, Women’s Safety Task Force circa 1983 to 1984 folder, Affirmative Action Office, box 14.
13.  See box 101 of President O’Leary’s records, Office of the President records and the Affirmative Action Office, box 14 of the Affirmative Action Office, Office of Finance and Business records for additional records.
14.  Minutes of meeting on October 12, 1994, 1994-1995 folder, President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety box.
15.  Minutes of meeting on July 7, 1993, Spring 1993 1 of 2 folder, President’s Task Force on Women’s Safety box.


President's Task Force on Women's Safety
Box and Folder List

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Box 1
Folder

1. Task Force, 1986-1991
2-3. Task Force, Spring 1992
4-5. Task Force, Fall 1992
6-7. Task Force, Spring 1993
8-9. Task Force, Fall 1993, Spring 1994
10. Task Force, 1994-1995
11-12. Task Force, Spring 1995-Fall 1995
13-14. Task Force, Spring 1996
15. Task Force, Spring 1997
16. Task Force, Fall 1997
17-18. Task Force, Spring 1998

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Last updated August 21, 2007