Formally apologize to those affected by the partnership with the Pierce County Asylum Haunted House. Add more checks and balances in the approval system for events.
This petition had 167 supporters
A public university supporting an organization that uses the theme of "asylum" to scare people is discriminatory. The idea that mentally ill people are supposed to be scary, dangerous, and violent adds to the stigma that makes mentally ill people unlikely to seek care because it is seen as an oddity. Often times when people feel this way, they do not seek out potential healthcare options or even interpersonal support. Stereotypes of mentally ill people as dangerous also leave mentally ill people vulnerable to abuse from parents, caretakers, significant others, and medical professionals. It is not within the University's Commitment to Diversity to fund such an event. For every student that goes, the University subsidizes their ticket.Additionally, an Asylum haunted house trivializes the forced institutionalization of mentally ill and disabled people. The haunted house explicitly references forced medical experimentation on mentally ill and disabled people, and does not respect the victims of these forms of torture. Although forced medical experimentation on mentally ill and disabled people has decreased, mentally ill and disabled people are still subjected to abuse within some psychiatric hospitals, and other residential facilities. Specifically, the Judge Rotenberg Center still uses painful shocks and long term restraint and seclusion as a punishment against mentally ill and disabled children as adults. If the Student Activities Board has a commitment to supporting mentally ill and disabled students, and not furthering stereotypes and trivialization of abuse, they will formally apologize for supporting this event and implement strategies for figuring out how the Student Activities Board will not, in the future, fund events that support oppression, abuse, violence, and injustice against a population that includes UW students, faculty, and staff.
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