Petition to Improve Fordham University's Title IX Policies

Petition to Improve Fordham University's Title IX Policies

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Petition to
fordham university and

Why this petition matters

Started by FU Do Better

We as a group and a student body are disturbed by and frustrated with the consistent protection of perpetrators of sexual violence at Fordham University.  The perpetrators have been continuously supported, believed, and protected over those against who the acts of sexual violence are committed. . We urge the administration to implement policies that would create substantial change to Fordham’s Title IX process in order to better protect their student body and those who have experienced sexual violence. The following list of demands comprises the changes that we deem as necessary for students to feel more comfortable reporting when these crimes occur. Further, implementing preventative measures (in addition to bettering the university reactions and response) will end the culture of sexual violence and harassment at this school. 

We have fielded questions across the student population in regards to experiences with the university’s Title IX response to incidents of sexual assault. Our demands are informed by the experiences of our peers.

(1) Multiple options for first point of contact within the Title IX office at Fordham University.

We have learned that the first points of contact for many students who choose to report are Public Safety and the Title IX coordinator. We acknowledge that Public Safety is a male-dominated office and that the current and former Title IX coordinators are men. Survivors of sexual violence by men are hesitant to be surrounded by men, alone with men, or in conversation with men about their experience of assault. We also recognize that men are not the only perpetrators of sexual assault. Therefore, we demand that there be multiple options for the first point of contact within the Title IX office so that survivors can choose the point of contact with whom they feel safest.   

(2) A dedicated office that is focused on survivors reporting and healing

We demand that Fordham University expand its Title IX office to include Title IX officers, crisis advocates, and support groups that solely focus on the reporting and healing processes for survivors. This office should be entirely separate from and operate outside of the realm of the Fordham University administration. 

(3) Improvements in services provided for mental health

We have learned that sexual violence survivors are referred to the Counseling and Psychological Services Office (CPS) after reporting to the University. The therapists who work in this office are not specifically trained in treating survivors of sexual violence. We demand Fordham University provide trained crisis advocates that specialize in healing for sexual assault survivors.
We demand that survivors have unlimited access to free counseling services with trained and experienced professionals provided. 

(4) Improvements in academic accomodations for survivors of sexual violence.

We have learned that the University provides few resources to survivors for academic support and/or accommodations. Many survivors experience mental health conditions that can significantly affect their academic performance. We demand that Fordham provide academic counselors that can create the necessary academic accommodations for survivors and help them to contact their professors. 

(5) Inclusion of a way for survivors of sexual violence to give feedback on their experience with the Title IX processes at Fordham University 

We have learned that Fordham University does not have a review process for students who go through the Title IX process. We demand that survivors have the opportunity to review their interactions with the Title IX office and provide feedback to the University on the Title IX processes. 

(6) Expansion of Title IX training

We believe that an overview of Title IX resources should be an integral part of a student’s education. Fordham University should provide a mandatory Title IX overview for all students. This can be integrated into the mandatory CORE programming that already exists at the university. 
Currently, students participate in mandatory prevention training after situations with Fordham EMS regarding alcohol and marijuana. We believe that there should be a similar process for those accused of sexual assault regardless of the outcome of the case. 

In conclusion, it is our hope that these policies may create lasting change within the university community.  To reach out to our fellow Fordham students, an  Instagram page was created to provide resources and support. In less than five days, the page has amassed over four hundred followers from the Fordham community. We demand that going forward, there be a lasting correction to administrative policy in order to provide survivors with the deserved protection and resources. Although we wish the situation was not as it is — that which has led to these demands —these changes will create an environment where something like this movement is no longer needed. For too long, things have been tolerated as-is with little accountability placed upon administration, but we hope that taking these steps with us will negate the need for future intervention. 

284 have signed. Let’s get to 500!