Clemson Students Demand More Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors
On Nov. 15, the students will march 0.9 miles to represent the estimated 90% of sexual assaults that go unreported to authorities.
The petition, titled “Support for Survivors at Clemson University,” was posted to Change.org by members of the school’s It’s On Us chapter, a national organization founded by the Obama administration to promote bystander intervention. It received more than 1,300 signatures in one week, according to Greenville News.
“We decided to release our proposal publicly to show the administration that the Clemson community really does feel strongly about the issue of students experiencing interpersonal violence at Clemson,” organizer Alden Parker said, adding the petition is the culmination of two years of advocating for more survivor resources. “And to additionally hold them accountable publicly for changes that can be implemented on our university so that students can feel safe and supported.”
The petition is made up of six actions items students are demanding, including:
- Separation of the Title IX and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Offices
- The hiring of three certified and confidential victims’ advocates
- Trauma-informed training for key administration leaders
- Restructuring of the President’s Commission on Women to include more student representation
- Execution of a campus climate survey, the last of which was conducted in 2012
- The creation of a Women’s and Gender Center
Vice President of University Relations Mark Land said the group of students reached out two weeks ago regarding their demands.
“Following the initial discussions two weeks ago, we’ve created a senior-level team to work alongside experts in our Division of Inclusion and Equity and Division of Student Affairs to determine what improvements, adjustments or modifications we might make to better serve survivors of interpersonal violence,” he wrote in an email.
As of Friday morning, Parker said she and two of her co-organizers had not received any official communication from the university.
“If they are working on it, we just are not aware because of the lack of transparency,” she said.
On Nov. 15, It’s On Us, along with other student organizations, will march 0.9 miles across campus for the Women’s March Against Violence.
The distance of the march represents the estimated 90% of survivors who do not report their sexual assault or rape to authorities.
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