Change in the SOTD
Change in the SOTD
Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance:
As students of this school, we can no longer sit back in silence and allow for anyone to be considered for casting while they have active Title IX cases filed against them. This is not only contradictory to what the department has been claiming to support—especially given the meeting at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester—it is simply unacceptable in any case.
Students are being put at risk for the sake of casting students when there are plenty of other talented students who are kind and respectful to their peers and others.
No one should feel uncomfortable or afraid to be in class or in rehearsal, yet nothing is being done to remove the individuals who are creating these toxic and unsafe environments.
We are asking for students and faculty to be held responsible for their actions, and abuse is not something that should be taken lightly. We think there need to be changes to the Student Handbook. It needs to include a section stating that if a student or faculty member has an active Title IX case filed against them, they should be suspended from auditions, casting, and productions.
In addition, if a student has had a prior case filed that was overlooked or they were found to be not guilty (falsely), but the victim does not feel safe around them, directors need to be made aware of these reasons. A student who feels unsafe around another person should not be treated as though they "just can't work" with someone. This needs to be taken seriously--in class, in auditions, in callbacks, in every situation.
The students of the SOTD will no longer accept department leaders who will support abusers and refuse to aid and acknowledge the victims of abuse who are being made to feel that they do not have a voice. We will be that voice.