Letter to President-Elect Elizabeth Garrett
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Dear President-Elect Garrett,
On behalf of the Cornell community, Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood welcomes you to campus. As the Cornell chapter of a national network of student groups affiliated with Planned Parenthood, our mission is to provoke conversation about reproductive rights, educate the community about sexual health and consent, and support Planned Parenthood. As fellow advocates for women’s and LGBTQ rights, safer campuses, and an informed student body, we would like to express our sincere pride and gratitude to call you our future president.
First, we wish to thank you for your work to institute more rigorous sexual assault policies at The University of Southern California. Your support for the affirmative consent bill and comments emphasizing campus safety in The Cornell Daily Sun offer us hope that Cornell will take renewed measures to protect all community members against sexual violence. As part of our mission to increase campus safety, sexual health, and women’s equality, Vox - along with several other social justice and feminist groups - works to dismantle social structures that normalize sexual violence against Cornell women. We work to subvert the acceptance of sexual violence through educating campus about the necessity for and definition of consent, raising awareness about national initiatives that fight for the eradication of sexual assault, and highlighting the persistence of violence - on our campus and around the world - against women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community. Yet despite the combined efforts of our group, the administration, and many other campus organizations, rape culture and incidences of violence, sexism, female exploitation and exclusion, and racism persist at Cornell. Thus, in addition to the efforts already underway, we wish to underscore the urgent need for increased action.
As members of a highly esteemed university, we are bestowed with enormous opportunities. We feel that due to these privileges, Cornell has an obligation to lead a movement that will eliminate barriers blocking equal opportunities for higher education. We are hopeful that in your tradition of standing up for underrepresented voices, you will lead Cornell in eradicating institutionalized sexual violence, and thus, fully extend equal opportunities for advancement to all students. Our goal is to create a safe and respectful environment free from sexism. With you as our President, we feel confident that we are heading in the right direction.
Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood
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