SAFER visited Tufts University’s campus a year ago, where we held a Teach-in and a Weekend Organizer Training. This was before I joined the board and the trainings were actually my first introduction to the organization. This group prompted my personal investment in anti-sexual violence activism.
This subsequently led to the formation of a student group (which consisted of myself and other students at the time) on their campus named SAFER, which since then has been working to bring vast improvements in policy. They kicked off with a community town hall meeting where about 200 students crammed into a dorm common room and asked why the policy was so inadequate.
Now it seems there is great potential for improvements. I have read in their Daily that their Senate passed a resolution for a better policy to be implemented by next semester. While it is great that more people on the campus are now aware about the current policy’s shortfalls, I know there has been a lack of transparency in the process of improvements. There has been dialogue between the administration and students, but there is no sign whether the administration listened to what they wanted.
While it could be just the framing of how the article was written, I do have two concerns. The first arises from this paragraph near the beginning
The movement to revise the policy, which also involves Health Service, is a product of concern for past victims and the widespread desire for a more comprehensive policy that is on par with those at other private colleges and universities.
I think the CPI report has made it abundantly clear that MOST schools do not have adequate policies. It makes me a little uneasy that the school just wants to be “on par” with other schools, rather than wanting what is BEST and go ABOVE AND BEYOND. They should be caring about a comprehensive policy that suits Tufts’ needs. I unfortunately noticed when I attended Tufts they cared more about ‘keeping appearances’ and opt just compared themselves to other institutions when making policy decisions, instead of taking the interests of the students on their specific campus seriously.
Also the article seems to concentrate on the policy working more on remedies to a student being assaulted. It would be great if they have a lot of preventative work and programs, which could reduce assault by educating students about consent and how to be an affective bystander that could possibly intercede an assault that is about to happen.
Regardless, I hope there are improvements to the policy when the administration shows their draft and I applaud the progress that the students at Tufts have already made.