We will hopefully be hearing more from activists at the New School themselves in the coming week, but I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate. In October our awesome trainer Erin arrived at the New School for a SAFER training. Less than 7 months later, due mostly to the amazing hard work of the New School’s Feminist Collective, a new policy was passed by the school’s Board of Directors. Among other changes, the new policy:
- Clearly defines sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and consent
- Requires that disciplinary hearing panel members be trained
- Ensures that the policy adheres to the new OCR guidance
- Mandates that victims are given clear explanations of all procedures and how to access services and resources.
The new policy goes into effect this fall. We are so extremely proud of the New School students who made this happen. We know they have been working tirelessly to get the new policy passed and in place before the end of the school year, and their success is nothing less than inspiring.
As Erin mentioned a couple of weeks ago, SAFER recently did a teach-in at the New School as part of “The Coming Resurrection,” a student-organized event to promote the development of a feminist community at the New School and get students thinking about the school’s sexual assault policy. SAFER had a blast with the students at the school and we’re excited by the momentum there seems to be for policy change there. Check out this article in the New School Free Press to read more about the event and get some ideas for an event at your school. Also some interesting back-and-forth about the place of feminist activism at a school with a reputation for being “progressive.”
In other SAFER news, I just posted about our happy hour event on November 9. Well, NOW it has its own flyer! So it’s official and you have to come! See you there…
Thanks to Noam for passing along this post on the importance of new media technologies to the success of the New School protests. There’s some very useful lessons from the New School sit-in on the powerful role digital cameras and video, blogging, twittering, etc. can play for student organizers.
Sounds like the student protesters at the New School won some great victories. The implementation of a Socially Responsible Investing committee sounds particularly promising.
Last night, at approximately 3 am this morning New School and other students have left the 65 5th Avenue building and declared the occupation successful, ending this stage of the action. , the occupants of 65 5th Avenue, marched out into the streets in victory. After more than two weeks of concerted actions on campus, students in the occupation were finally able to win significant victories in the ongoing struggle to improve the New School. Those victories include: an agreement not to press charges or impose academic punishments for students involved in the protest, the implementation of a Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) committee within the university, more autonomy and power for Student Senate to communicate with the student body, more representation on the Board of Trustees for students and faculty, and finally the creation of more student study space on campus.
Way to go, guys!