November 2015Volume 21Number 3PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)

Chair’s column

In June 2015, I met with fellow ISBA members Yolaine Dauphin and Tracy Douglas to discuss a possible joint CLE program highlighting the epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. We were on an expedited timeline and wanted to draw attention to the issue as soon as possible. For five months, the Planning Committee members and WATL members worked closely with Anne Brent, Founder of Porchlight Counseling Services and Diana Newton, Porchlight’s Executive Director to put together the two-day Symposium on College Sexual Assaults.

On November 5-6, 2015, our vision became a reality when over 28 sponsoring bar associations and organizations, over 250 attendees, and approximately 35 speakers joined together at the Symposium. Columbia College’s Women in Film hosted the Thursday evening movie screening of The Hunting Ground. The Hunting Ground is a documentary about sexual assault on American college campuses and the rise of a new student movement relating to the failure of universities to address the problem. After the movie, NBC News Anchor Marion Brooks moderated a panel discussion featuring, Sofie Karasek, Co-founder of End Campus Rape; Olivia Ortiz, Title IX Complainant; Kaethe Morris Hoffer, Executive Director of Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. For those of you who were unable to attend the moving screening, CNN Films will broadcast the film on Sunday, November 22, at 8:00 p.m. EST on CNN/U.S.

November 5 Panel featuring Kaethe Morris Hoffer, Executive Director of Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation; Olivia Ortiz, Title IX Complainant; Sofie Karasek, Co-Founder End Campus Rape; NBC News Anchor Marion Brooks.Thank you to Dr. Susan Kerns and Columbia College for the opportunity to collaborate with Columbia’s Women in Film student organization. We are grateful for the Women in Film student volunteers - Mackenzie Willey, Gabby Papas, Erika Caldwell, Emily Costello; DePaul law student Anne Marie Knisely, and Kevin Pu (Northwestern University student). Symposium Coordinator Yolaine Dauphin is working on making the November 6 Symposium presentation recordings available to anyone who was unable to attend.

Here are a few photos from the two-day Symposium on College Sexual Assaults:


Emily N. Masalski is Counsel at Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP (R3) and a member of the firm’s environmental and natural resources, health and safety, and litigation practice groups. She can be reached at


WATL member Mary Petruchius; Illinois General Lisa Madigan; Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights; and Yolaine Dauphin, Secretary of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law.


Symposium Planning committee members Wiley Adams, Emily Masalski, Joy Airaudi, Amanda Garcia, Anne Marie Knisely.


Group photo of speakers and planning committee members.

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