BC President Michelle Anderson: Protect Your Students + Cut Ties with the Residence Hall

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Michelle Anderson, President of Brooklyn College, for her entire career, has been an advocate for sexual assault victims. Yet, has ignored a pervasive issue hovering over her own campus.

A few months ago, Brooklyn College's campus newspaper, The Excelsior published a story about Brooklyn College student Christine DeLisser, who reported being sexually assaulted by a maintenance worker while residing at the Residence Hall at Brooklyn College (RHBC).

The article read, "They were in the elevator at the Residence Hall. Just the two of them. One was a man abusing his power. The other? A young student. He started to gyrate toward her until she put out her hand and pointed to the camera. 'Oh, them shits don’t work,' he said."

After the story and video (shot by filmmaker Chris Omar) were published, many other students came forward to the filmmaker and told their own stories of assault and harassment by the staff at RHBC. Clearly, it was not a one-time thing.

Brooklyn College aggressively advertises for RHBC throughout its campus. Additionally, the college sends campus-wide emails promoting RHBC. However, these emails did not inform the campus community that Brooklyn College is in no way affiliated with RHBC until October 2018, a year after the sexual assault of Christine DeLisser and other students came into light.

Brooklyn College administration has stated they are legally bound by a marketing agreement with RHBC that requires them to hang banners on campus and send advertisements electronically via email.

Brooklyn College students do not want the school to continue advertising for RHBC. Privately owned corporations have no place on the grounds of public universities when federal protections such as Title IX have no jurisdiction over the predatory actions of the private corporation’s employees.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law in the United States of America that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. In the 1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court issued three decisions interpreting Title IX to require schools to respond appropriately to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence against students.

President Anderson, if you are the champion for sexual assault victims you say you are, start with the problems on your own campus.

Here are the demands we have for Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson:

1. Pledge that Brooklyn College will immediately cease advertising for RHBC.

2. Pledge that the College will not continue any relationship with RHBC and their management moving forward.

3. Request that CUNY seek a legal remedy to have Brooklyn College’s name and likeness removed from RHBC’s name and building.

4. Issue a public apology to all past and present Brooklyn College students that were misled by the promotion on campus.

5. Work to secure alternative housing options for non-commuter students, Reinstate Student Life and Housing Coordinator to support students in need of housing, and for students living in the residence hall regarding their rights as tenants.

Thank you,

Concerned Students at Brooklyn College