49 petitions

Started 1 week ago

Petition to Kenyon Bonner

Train Pitt Students and Staff on Domestic Violence Prevention

Last year, a student at the University of Pittsburgh was murdered by her ex-boyfriend after trying to end the relationship. Just a few weeks prior, the victim had stated to a judge, “It was nothing malicious, nothing. He didn’t want to harm me. He just wanted to speak to me.” This is just one example of the prevalence of domestic violence at Pitt, and the urgent need to implement new programs to prevent it.  Nearly 1 in 3 college women reported being in an abusive relationship and 58% of college students reported not knowing what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse, yet Pitt has no structured education or prevention programs specifically about domestic violence. While all students are required to attend programming on sexual violence, these programs heavily focus on sexual assault and ignore many of the intricacies of long-term abusive relationships. We propose a new mandatory LGBTQ-inclusive training for all incoming students, faculty, and staff that encourages healthy interpersonal relationships. This training will assist the Pitt community in identifying the early signs of a physically, verbally, or emotionally abusive relationship and will teach effective bystander intervention and peer support skills, providing linkage to further resources for people that are experiencing domestic abuse. Studies show these low-resource trainings can significantly increase bystander behaviors, like encouraging classmates that are experiencing domestic violence to get help. We urge Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner to lead the charge in implementing this training as a part of next year's New Student Orientation. 

Ruby Walker
29 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Resident Hall Coordinators

Illinois State University needs to improve dorm evacuation processes

Early this morning, 11/8/18, Wright Hall of the Tri Towers dormitory had another false fire alarm at 4:11am. This time around it wasn't because of the decade-old microwaves that remain gross and uncleaned, but because of a faulty alarm in the basement that seemingly goes off for no reason. Haynie and Wilkins have also had issues regarding fire alarms, but Wright seems to have an affinity for them.  Watterson Towers also seems to have quite the problem regarding fire alarms. I, myself, do not live there but friends who do, say there could be false fire alarms and pointless evacuations happening up to twice weekly, mostly due to the microwaves that are extremely old and cannot handle the usage they obtain.  Having fire alarms and evacuations that wake up students with early classes is unfair. If you are awoken at 4am, and have an 8am, how likely are you to get up and go? If you go, exactly how alert are you?  This problem brings major inconvenience to not only students, but the Normal Fire Department, the Resident Assistants, and the surrounding towers that may hear the noise and wake up because of it. I live on the 11th floor of Wright. There are people I know with asthma who cannot make that trip without arriving back to their room heaving and sick because they cannot take the elevator. I'm sure the RAs are told not to allow students to take the elevators back up because of the sheer amount of residents who live there, but not allowing those with disabilities is plain discrimination and leaves many to wait out in the cold (we are refused the ability to sit in the lobby) to wait for an all-clear.  I am sick of paying $30,000 for substandard living spaces while ISU goes ahead and builds a pretty pointless expansion to the Bone. There is much, much more I can complain about (like the theft and vandalization of student laundry, which nothing has been done about), but I think what most students would appreciate is not having to make late night and early morning evacuations when there is absolutely no threat of a fire. I am asking for something to be done about this. Maybe clean the microwaves. Change the way we evacuate and go back into the building afterwards. That could be a start. 

Sarah S
41 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House

Universities: Differentiate Between Bad Grades and Sexual Assault

     When a student is convicted of sexual assault and then dismissed from their college or university, there is little to no indication on this person’s transcript as to why they were dismissed. At some colleges and universities, a small asterisk is placed at the bottom of his/her transcript indicating they have been dismissed. This symbol is used to indicate a dismissal for poor grades as well as the commitment and conviction of sexual assault. It then falls upon the college or university viewing this person’s transcript to not only notice the small asterisk, but then to contact this person’s former institution and inquire about his/her dismissal. This is a rare occurrence.      When a student is convicted of sexual assault, many college and universities are mainly concerned about getting this person off their campus, which is understandable and something that needs to happen. However, what happens when s/he transfers schools and arrives on a new campus? This person’s new school most likely is not fully aware of the reasoning behind their dismissal, and without proper knowledge of his/her past. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 51% of all alleged rapists have at least one previous conviction, 19% have 2-4 previous convictions, 12% have 5-9 previous convictions, and 8% have 10 or more previous convictions. RAINN also states that 69% of the people that have been sexually assaulted are aged 12-34. Female college students aged 18-24 are 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than females in general.       We are proposing a bill that would require colleges and universities to explicitly indicate that this person was dismissed for sexual assault and is therefore a danger to students, faculty, and staff not just at the college or university s/he is dismissed from but to any institution to which s/he applies. This bill would transform the admissions process allowing colleges and universities to manage risk before it even steps foot on their campus and would serve as a preventative measure to combat sexual assault on college campuses. In addition to bettering reactionary services available to someone after s/he has been sexually assaulted, there needs to be systems in place to stop it from ever occurring. Should a college or university choose to ignore this new indication to the applicant’s past, the school would then be held accountable in the event this person commits sexual assault on their campus, eliminating the possibility the college or university could claim ignorance.      New York and Virginia have passed similar laws requiring their colleges and universities to indicate whether students were dismissed due to sexual assault. They had hoped to create a domino effect, with other states following their lead in the hopes that a federal law would be introduced. Unfortunately, this did not happen.      By signing this petition, you are expressing support in favor of a bill that would require colleges and universities to explicitly mark on a student's transcript whether or not they have been dismissed from that institution on the grounds of sexual assault.       It is time our country stops protecting the perpetrators of sexual assault and starts protecting those who have been sexually assaulted and implements measures to keep the number that have been assaulted as low as possible. Instagram: Twitter: or use hashtag #ExplainTheAsterisk Facebook:  

Syd Ovitt
48,681 supporters