Tuesday Campus Link Round-Up

I came to my computer today ready to write an incensed post about how the De Anza civil trial is playing out, to find that Cara at The Curvature had me covered. Please read her post for the full update on the trial, but beware the depressing amount of victim-blaming/”slut-shaming” involved in this case.

Last year, SAFER did a training at SUNY Geneseo, where a survey of students showed that “about 15% of women and 8% of men in [the sample] were severely sexual assaulted.” I was excited to read last week about their Sexual Assault Teach-In, which included a presentation from the awesome folks at Green Dot.

The National Union of Students in Australia is undertaking a large-scale survey of college students, and has so far found that “1 in 10 female students have experienced sexual violence while in university.”

A student at San Diego State University describes her frustrating experience with campus police after being raped and beaten by her then-boyfriend. She wanted to file for a restraining order, but the campus police would not release the report to her, which included the photographs of her injuries. Here’s something you never want to read: “I was at Staples taking pictures of my bruises, doing all of this on my own, paying out of pocket.”

Jessica Valenti called out university responses to sexual violence this weekend, mentioning the Yale frat chant, and the recently released recommendations of the task force that was subsequently formed at Yale. The recommendations focus on education, but the full report can be found here.

Finally, there is an interview with Heather Corinna of Scarleteen over at Where is Your Line? I really loved her answer to the question “How do you think we, as young activists and students can best make a difference?” and wanted to share it here:

Value your own voices and experiences where they are right now and get them out there, ideally to a larger audience that just the people who you’re working with. I often hear young people who feel that there’s no point in them speaking up and out because older people won’t care or some peers won’t care. However, even for those who won’t care — and whose adultism is their problem and bias — plenty do care, and more to the point, your peers do care and they need to see and hear you to help them feel and be more empowered.

Everyone also needs all of you to speak to where you have been and where you are, rather than trying to speak from a place that isn’t yours, or is a place you’re not at yet, but think you need to be at to have authority or earn respect. Not only do you not need to be anywhere but where you are, giving your own experiences and the you-of-right-now the weight they deserve, and YOU giving them authority is incredibly powerful. Not just for you, but for other people who, by virtue of age, gender, of having been victimized, who are of color, who are in any way oppressed and silenced by someone else. Doing that models that authenticity is more powerful than conformity and that oppression is something we have the capacity to change, even when we’re the ones oppressed, and we do that not by making ourselves people we aren’t and more like those who are oppressing us, but by refusing to be anything other than ourselves.

Campus News Catch-Up

I’ve been a bit behind the ball on my news round-ups, so there’s a lot to catch up on…

Let’s start off with the good stuff! The students who worked so hard to get a sexual assault policy for the City University of New York system are getting some recognition from the administration. Students for a Greater CUNY recently updated their CUNY Policy Tracker, which was an amazing tool while they ran their campaign. Students currently working on policy change should check it out.

So proud of students at SUNY Geneseo who have, with their staff and admin allies, scheduled a campus-wide sexual assault teach-in in March. How awesome does this sound!?: “The SAT will address both truths and widespread misperceptions about campus sexual assault. Most importantly, the SAT will promote informed and constructive discussions among faculty, staff, and students that may inspire and inform new programs, policies, and procedures and empower participants to help solve this problem in our community.” We did a training at Geneseo last spring, and it’s really excited to see them moving forward.

There’s a great article in the Skidmore News about the school’s revised sexual assault policy, which goes into effect this month.  This article makes it sound like a lot of amazing improvements were made. And it’s great to read that students were very involved in the entire process.

Wesleyan has created a really excited new position on campus, the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) intern. The SART intern is a student role, and is a “liaison between the administration and students who wish to report sexual assault.” The intern is a completely confidential resource for students—survivors and perpetrators.

Students at Dartmouth are brainstorming about what role the administration should play in combating sexual assault.

I really want to hear the sexual assault presentation given at Texas Tech University—it’s in talk show format, and the counselor who created it, Erin Snyder, sounds pretty great. Case in point: “I think sexual assault is a problem on every college campus…What I do is try to prevent it by giving students information on what is healthy in a sexual relationship.”

On to the (really) bad stuff.  A lot of press space has been given to the terrifying story of a Central Washington University house party that sent 12 students (11 female, one male) to the hospital and left others ill. Students at the party told police and reporters that they thought “roofies” were responsible, either put into a bottle of vodka that was made to make mixed drinks, or put into pre-made party drinks. The police were called by students who had left the party, after their friend was extremely sick. The Police Chief noted that when the police arrived at the house, there were sick students everywhere and no one at the house had decided to call the police. It’s worth mentioning I think that CWU’s sexual assault policy does not have an explicit amnesty policy stating that students who report assaults won’t be penalized for something like underage drinking. This is a good example of why it’s important for students to know they have that protection.

Amanda Hess wrote a really good piece on the 11 DAYS is took the University of Virginia to alert students to the sexual assault of a student who was attacked while walking home.  UVA should really know now about the importance of timely intervention. This isn’t acceptable.

Apparently the University of Illinois still hands out rape whistles.

Ms. Blog and Shakesville have both covered the distressing case of the Michigan State University basketball players who were accused of rape but are not being charged with rape, despite the fact that one of them admitted to investigators that the victim didn’t want to have sex. In response, a number of students have formed a Coalition Against Sexual Violence on campus.

Finally, last week I wrote about how within three weeks at the University of Minnesota three women reported assaults at three different frat parties. The school frats responded by banning alcohol at frat parties for the immediate future. Since then, the school paper has been the site of some interesting discussion, about a poor editorial choice in publishing a cartoon about the assaults and the need to fight the real causes of sexual violence.