GSWS Statement on Sexual Assault on Campus

The Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program stands in solidarity with those who have experienced sexual assault, trauma, discrimination, and any abuse of power. We value and support the labor of those who are working to hold the University as a whole to account for failing to live up to its own values of safety for all members of the community. We acknowledge that our campus climate represents a much larger social climate where privilege, profit, and the status quo take precedence over the rights, needs, and well-being of marginalized individuals and communities. We must constantly strive to eliminate the historical and cultural prejudices that still divide us in the treatment and response to victims of diverse races, religions, cultural traditions, and sexual orientation. We recognize that real change will take collaboration, vulnerability, and a renewed devotion to learning and listening, especially by those in positions of influence and power. We encourage people at all levels of the University to contribute their time, energy and privilege to shaping a healthier environment for our community, where violence becomes unimaginable and where people and institutions do not mistake carceral surveillance and policing for accountability, safety and caretaking. In the coming days and weeks, we are committed to holding space for testimony and narratives from survivors, recognizing that most incidents of sexual assault are not publicized in the same manner as the recent incident. We as a community also want to ensure that this current situation does not overshadow the other forms of sexual assault that happen to members of our community on a more regular basis and that do not receive the care and attention they deserve. All of these forms deserve as much urgency for resolution and justice as the current situation has fostered. We hope to foster discussions that will lead to lasting change in our community. 

- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Staff and Faculty