Letter to CU Boulder against Sexual Assault

Letter to CU Boulder against Sexual Assault

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Grace Ludin started this petition to CU Boulder community memembers

May 1, 2019


To:

Chancellor’s Administrative Organization,

and whomever else it may concern,


Sexual assault is a rampant epidemic affecting universities across the United States, and The University of Colorado, Boulder is no exception. CU Boulder has made a commitment to providing comprehensive safety for its students, though fails to educate incoming and current students on the potential risks and real dangers regarding sexual assault. The immense CU Boulder community, comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumuna and parents, who all have claim in the institution, are deserving of this education and CU Boulder’s transparency.


At this point in time, the only mandatory educational program on the issue of sexual misconduct is the “Effective Bystander Intervention” training for first-year students. This training program is a singular occurrence in which students are required to attend, though it does not coincide with authentic student experiences. Additionally, this training does not place full, if any, responsibility on the assaulter, rather cultivating the narrative that sexual misconduct is accepted at CU Boulder, as long as nobody is around to intervene.


It is paramount to change the ways in which the CU Boulder community addresses sexual assault. To do so, CU must change the rhetoric around the issue starting with implementing a redesigned training program that addresses sexual assualt head-on and places culpability on the assaulter. This will cultivate the narrative that CU Boulder is an environment that fully protects the safety of their students and takes a stand against sexual assault.


Rather than train bystanders, train potential assaulters. Although it sounds trivial to blatantly state claims against sexual violence, it is evident through the culture and the statistics of sexual misconduct that this is a necessary discourse. Statistically, one in every four women will be sexually assaulted during their time as a student at CU Boulder. This should be the focus of the redesigned training, placing the responsibility on the assaulter, rather than a bystander or victim. This in turn will act as a deterrent, for the session will also outline the severe punishments of engaging in sexual misconduct. These punishments will not be lenient, as prior to this redesign the university will come out and state their no tolerance policy in regards to sexual misconduct. The training will also outline the lifelong effects survivors face, providing further visibility to an issue that now lives in the shadows.


We recognize the concerns of going against the status quo regarding how institutions of higher education repress the issue of sexual assault on their campuses. Everyone is aware of the prevalence of sexual misconduct on college campuses, even when university officials fail to address it outright. Staying silent on the matter circulates rape culture and, simply put, negates students’ experiences at CU, especially victims of sexual misconduct. By being one of the first elite universities to take a direct and powerful stance against the rampant issue of sexual assault, CU Boulder’s reputation and overall image will flourish in the process. This will solidify CU Boulder’s reputation as a progressive and safe institution. CU Boulder can pave the way for other universities to take a stand as well, and cultivate the narrative that sexual assault should not be tolerated, especially at institutions of higher education.


Through examining the current “Effective Bystander Intervention” training, it is evident that this is problematic and in desperate need of a redesign. Changing the layout of the training will help to cultivate a safe environment for all students, instead of privileging criminal activity. By doing so, the University of Colorado, Boulder can be a pioneer in taking a stand against the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses nationwide.


We can all agree that sexual assault is a pressing issue that demands immediate action. It is time to take a strong stance against sexual assault and prove your commitment to student safety – implement a redesigned training program to protect your students against sexual misconduct.


Respectfully,

The Undersigned

 

 

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