Demand NCAT Protect Survivors
Demand NCAT Protect Survivors
To Chancellor Martin,
We, students of North Carolina A&T State University, are committed to creating a campus environment in which no student has to face the trauma of sexual violence on campus. Unfortunately, we know too well not only the prevalence of such violence, but the school’s negligence and inaction towards it, especially through not abiding by their own policies.
Additionally, due to the Trump administration’s Final Rule regarding Title IX law, it will be easier than ever for schools to ignore sexual violence, having irreparable consequences for survivors. Thankfully, there are many parts of the Final Rule that gives schools discretion in how they implement certain policies. Thus, we have demanded that the school take every possible precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of all Aggies.
Below, we have listed our demands to the University, which ask for your clear commitment to maintaining the safest possible environment for students at North Carolina A&T.
1. Ensure that your sexual misconduct policy goes above and beyond what the Department of Education’s Final Rule requires by:
- Creating and following sexual misconduct procedures for investigating instances of violence that occur off-campus or abroad. While the rule does not allow formal Title IX investigations of off-campus violence, schools can still create separate sexual misconduct policies that ensure students can report off-campus violence. As Aggies, we understand that “[a]ny unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” is a threat to campus safety, and we want our policy to reflect this belief.
- Maintaining your 30 day timeline for sexual misconduct proceedings. Fair and speedy trials are the right of both the Complainant and Respondent in Title IX investigations. Drawing these cases out for months (and even years) leads to higher drop out rates and poor mental and emotional health among your students.
- Maintaining the preponderance of the evidence as the standard of evidence in all campus sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination cases. Preponderance of the evidence is the only standard that values the education of both complainants and respondents equally.
- Barring the use of informal resolution mechanisms including but not limited to mediation in cases of sexual assault, rape, dating and domestic violence, and stalking that is an extension of such violence. It is widely agreed upon that mediation is an inappropriate and even unsafe measure in these types of situations.
- Responding promptly to reports and carrying out existing investigations into sexual misconduct during the global health crisis. The new rule makes clear that Title IX processes may continue remotely in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rights of student complainants and respondents alike hinge on schools maintaining their commitment to prompt and equitable investigations even during these unprecedented times.
2. Provide accommodations to students beyond what federal law requires by:
- Creating and maintaining a 24/7 Rape Crisis Center for students on campus.
- Providing free group therapy sessions for sexual violence survivors through Counseling Services.
- Providing a resource pamphlet to all students that go through the University’s Title IX process. Include, first and foremost, legal resources, as well as mental health resources that go beyond our campus’s Counseling Services.
- Guaranteeing all students’ access to reasonable interim measures regardless of where or when the violence or discrimination they experienced took place. The serious effects of violence and discrimination merit accommodations whether a student was harmed on-campus, on a study-abroad trip, or in their private apartment.
- Following the Department of Education’s rescinded 2016 guidance on protecting LGBTQ+ students in order to ensure all students have equal access to a safe learning environment, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
3. Publish annual detailed aggregate statistics regarding sexual misconduct online in an easily located area.
- Include how many cases are reported; how many survivors were denied accommodations that they requested; how long, on average, cases remained open; how many students were found responsible; and how students found responsible were sanctioned.
4. Publicly state your solidarity with survivors by holding your administration accountable for its role in harming your own students through your inaction.
- We understand that in order to make progress in our future, we must make peace with our past. This starts when North Carolina A&T publicly acknowledges the harm they have perpetuated and continue to perpetuate against survivors through their inaction and lack of accountability regarding their role in preventing and solving campus sexual violence thus far.
- Publicly release your response to these demands so that students and community are aware of your plans to protect survivors and eliminate sexual violence on campus.
5. Recognize and fulfill the school’s duty in the dismantling of rape culture on campus.
- Create and maintain monthly committee meetings of students, faculty, and community members addressing sexual violence on campus. Ensure that these meetings are open to the public.
- Provide semesterly educational resources for all students regarding consent, rape culture, and sexual violence, particularly within the context of the Black community. This is in addition to pre-existing resources for new students, namely Healthy Brothers Healthy Sisters.
We anxiously await your response, as we hope that you will do your part to hold yourself accountable to the student body.
In the spirit of Aggie Pride,
Aggies Without Fear