No Red Tape’s “Stand With Survivors” Demonstration On Low

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“Rape shouldn’t be part of the college experience.”

“Red tape won’t cover up rape.”

Earlier this week, No Red Tape delivered this letter to President Bollinger, proposing further reforms to Columbia University’s most recent sexual assault policy. Today, they’re holding a “Stand With Survivors” demonstration until 3, where student and alumni survivors are sharing their stories.

From their press release:

Frustrated by months of inaction and empty promises by the University, the group No Red Tape Columbia is demanding improvements to the school’s adjudication policies, stronger prevention programs, increased transparency, and comprehensive resources for survivors. Student and alumni survivors will speak out about their experiences of sexual and domestic violence and of mistreatment by the university.

At one point, organizer Zoe Ridolfi-Starr encouraged members of the crowd to stand behind the mattresses with the demonstrators. About 30 crossed sides: “This kind of movement is the type of movement we should see every time a survivor calls for help,” Ridolfi-Starr said to audience applause.

no red tape low

IMG_7324“Rape shouldn’t be part of the college experience.” “Rape happens here.” “Silence is violence.”

At one point, students from the Union Theological Seminary led those on Low Steps in a modified version of “We Shall Not Be Moved,” as shown below:

No Red Tape hopes to receive a respond from the president’s office by the third week of September. The most recent version of the sexual violence policy, they wrote in their statement, “fails to address many of the serious concerns students raised, makes it harder to bring cases against serial perpetrators, and allows Deans to maintain complete control over the sanctioning of rapists.”

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  1. Yes  

    This is fantastic. Thank you so much.

    • Fleece "Booty Warrior" Johnson

      I came here looking for booty. I got no shame in my game

    • NEWSFLASH: Rape activists rape Columbia!

      Stop occupying my plaza without consent! #specsucks #clickbait #webonly

    • inflated statistics

      Note how their facebook page says that 999 people went. Looking at the pictures I guess that about 900 to 950 of them were not demonstrating but taking pictures.
      Way to blow up proportions, no red tapers!

    • real sexism

      Despite what you have been told, in the western world today almost all legal and lethal sexual discrimination is against men.
      Men are 97% of combat fatalities.
      Men pay 97% of Alimony
      Men make 94% of work suicides.
      Men make up 93% of work fatalities.
      Men make up 81% of all war deaths.
      Men lose custody in 84% of divorces.
      80% of all suicides are men.
      77% of homicide victims are men.
      89% of men will be the victim of at least one violent crime.
      Men are over twice as victimised by strangers as women.
      Men are 165% more likely to be convicted than women.
      Men get 63% longer sentences than women for the same crime.
      Court bias against men is at least 6 times bigger than racial bias.
      Males are discriminated against in school and University.
      Boys face vastly more corporal punishment than girls.
      60-80% of the homeless are men.
      At least 10% of fathers are victims of paternity fraud.
      One third of all fathers in the USA have lost custody of children, most are expected to pay for this.
      40-70% of domestic violence is against men however less than 1% of domestic violence shelter spaces are for men.
      Male fatality rates are vastly higher than women's
      Worldwide there are 107 men born for every 100 women, by age 65 there are 78 men for every 100 women, in countries like the US/UK, its even worse, with 75/76 men for every 100 women. Despite the fact that health care spending for men is nearly twice as effective. In the few countries that have a majority male population and a preference for male children like China, Sons are legally obliged to care for parents when they are older, where as daughters are not. Many other countries like India have this as a social obligation.
      Despite all the pressures and risks facing men today support services for men are almost non existent compared to services for women. There are departments for women's issues in the White House and the UN, but none for men. This is Real Sexism.

  2. I don't believe  

    that Zoe was raped as she said (watch her CNN interview and notice the inconsistency in how she describes the claimed act). Sexually assaulted/groped/etc, maybe, but not raped in either the classical or legal definition of the term.

  3. Anonymous  

    Men rape. Everyone knows this. Why do we still ask survivors to PROVE that they were raped? No one would lie about this. The burden of proof should not apply in rape cases. Men should have to prove that they are NOT rapists, i.e. the exception. #DontAskForProof

    • @anonymous

      That is an incredibly misguided point of view. Either you are not from this country and do not yet understand our system of laws, or you have never known anyone who was falsely accused. Our legal system has procedural safeguards for a reason.

      It is entirely possible that an alleged rape victim truly believes he or she was raped, but the facts, viewed impartially, do not support a finding that a crime was committed.

      And for the men accused of such acts, being drunk does not give you an excuse to be stupid or uncaring or a criminal.

      • Hey, idiot

        The original poster was obviously trolling. He was indirectly accusing the activists of holding that point of view.

      • Anonymous

        "It is entirely possible that an alleged rape victim truly believes he or she was raped, but the facts, viewed impartially, do not support a finding that a crime was committed."

        Uhhh rape is sex with out consent. So literally the only way to know 100% if a rape occurred is to be inside the victim's head. But otherwise I agree, both parties involved may have polarized views of the event that they are convinced of.

      • Anonymous  

        I am NOT trolling and I AM serious. There is no such thing as a false accusation.

        Rape is any time a woman Cannot give full, informed consent. How many times has a woman had sex with a man and only later learned that he was a jerk? Her sex was therefore NOT informed, and therefore rape.

        How many times have men TRICKED women into drinking alcohol to lower their inhibitions before sex? Alcohol stops women from being able to give FULL consent.

        A woman might have SAID that she consented, but either not been in possession of all the facts or might have had her judgement impaired through alcohol, prescription drugs, or even social pressure. If a women SAYS she was raped, we MUST believe her. 1 out of every 3 women is raped at college.


        • anon.  

          Whereas your other points might be correct (forcible drinking to induce consent, even though consent can't be given when someone is drunk) this claim "How many times has a woman had sex with a man and only later learned that he was a jerk? Her sex was therefore NOT informed, and therefore rape" is fallacious in its entirety.

          Consent must be given at that time, and cannot be taken back retroactively for that specific act (at the time). Consent can be withdrawn retroactively, but applies to further interactions. So, if you had sex with a man because he seemed like a prince Charming (but did nothing wrong, asked for consent, and etc), and then he turns out to be a complete ass, its not rape.

          • Yes.

            You are certainly correct. I am straining very hard to understand how anyone could arrive at a conclusion as absurd as the notion that it is possible to be raped if you consent, and then learn that you didn't know enough about the person with whom you had intercourse-- and I am straining even harder to understand how someone could have the audacity to think this idea should be enforced by authorities in power. What exactly leads a person to such a nonsensical idea? Sheer stupidity? World-class entitlement?

          • Yes.

            I should also add that I really wonder how this university finds itself admitting people who are so lacking in critical thinking abilities that they think categorically, that there is "no such think as a false accusation" of rape, or anything else. I don't wish to indulge in the tired game of intellectual pretension-- questioning people's intelligence etc.-- but I think a certain level of critical thinking is absolutely essential, and it is shocking to find it so absent.

          • Anonymous

            ^^^ Uh what you just described is the basis of one of the 3 "rape" claims levied against the guy Emma is accusing. He dated a girl for a bit, and she concluded after they broke up that he was emotionally unavailable and manipulative and clearly conned her into bed multiple times. Ergo, sex without "informed consent" aka RAPE

          • Anonymous

            She described being pinned down forcefully and crying both during and after sex on multiple occasions.


            I guess those consent workshops weren't explicit enough for you.

          • Anonymous

            Surprise surprise, good sex is rough and involves pinning. She didn't think it was rape at the time, only after she conferred with 2 other girls and retroactively decided that it was rape. If that isn't an example of withdrawing consent ex post facto, I don't know what is. Note that she never claims that she told him "no" or to "stop", just that while she acceded to the sex at the time, it feels rapey to her now.

        • Anonymous

          Your satire is fucking BRILLIANT and spot on. "^^^ Uh what you just described is the basis of one of the 3 "rape" claims levied against the guy Emma is accusing. He dated a girl for a bit, and she concluded after they broke up that he was emotionally unavailable and manipulative and clearly conned her into bed multiple times. Ergo, sex without "informed consent" aka RAPE" right on, sista.

  4. Rules for radical women

    1. Say you were raped
    2. Give interviews to anyone who'll listen
    2. Become famous/write op Eds/ meet a bunch of famous people
    3. ???
    4. Profit

    Hey Zoe, be more transparent— you can't!

    • Anonymous

      Interesting how many feminists patrol this site downvoting all dissenting opinions.

    • Anonymous

      well, it's mostly bwog's fault for reinforcing the cycle of positive reinforcement that society encourages. First step is to call those who accuse others survivors WITHOUT first obtaining a conviction of the accused in a court of law. Such a title insinuates the accused as guilty. Secondly, everyone everywhere has to call her brave or risk social shaming. Fuck that. She's not brave. She's an attention whore - just like everyone else on this planet. Except, in her case, she changed her mind about this guy weeks after dating him when she learned that he tried to makeout with a girl at the heights. She told this girl to report him, and she did. Then Emma convinced his former ex girlfriend to report him, too. Doesn't sound like a hero to me. I assume 10% of you got into columbia for a reason - take a step back and think for a moment. Thanks.

      • To Emma - false accusations

        If a kangaroo court doesn’t find the person you accused responsible, chances are your accusation wasn’t worth much of anything to begin with. And if Feminists don’t like that kind of reasoning, they can blame the people who set up those kangaroo courts to begin with: themselves.

  5. Is it just me

    Or does that message on the mattresses look like it was put together by 'A' a la Pretty Little Liars?

    XOXO Bitches


    As a man, if you ever go out with one of these radicals, you deserve whatever you get. That is absolutely asking for trouble.

    You've been warned.

  7. Anonymous

    does "no red tape" mean no due process for defendants? or is due process part of rape culture?

    • Anonymous

      it's also laughable that "sexual violence" can be completely eliminated. "gendered" crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence are the only crimes libs talk about in terms of "ending" or "should never happen," rather than attempting to prevent and appropriately punishing. it's an endless crusade.

      • Anonymous

        Is it laughable to talk about ending poverty, world hunger, child abuse/trafficking and the war between Israel and Palestine too? Maybe idealistic and unrealistic but seems like you're the only one who finds it funny.

  8. Anonymous

    As a woman, I love it when my boys make me SCREAM "YESS YESS OHHHH YESSS" while they express in every f*cking sexy heaving thrust how much they want me.

    If you don't believe in enthusiastic consent, forget about dating those "radicals" cuz you're definitely NOT good enough. Trust me, they've had much better.

    • Anonymous

      Are you implying that if a girl were to be impaired and taken advantage of, but happened to enthusiastically enjoy the sex in her drunken state, you'd tell her the morning after that she somehow wasn't raped? YES OH YES does not mean "yes" in terms of sexual consent.

      • Anonymous

        Are you trolling? I can't tell because I'm sober so feel free to explain.

        I know you can't consent when incapacitated by alcohol, but I've seen people who are incapacitated and there's no way they could exclaim YES OH YES. To me if a partner said that I would take it as a clear indicator of consent. It would also qualify as such under the more survivor-friendly affirmative consent policies such as the one in California or certain peer schools like Yale.

        • Anonymous

          Are you familiar with people who black out and have no recollection of the events of the night before, but are told they were cognizant, engaging, and didn't seem drunk or out of control? This is all too common an occurrence, I've been there myself multiple times. Being drunk to the point of being passed out isn't the only hallmark of an inability to give consent. In the scenario in which you blithely described as an example of "normal" sex, you fail to consider the implications that you are erroneously leading men to believe that just because a woman is enthusiastically engaging in sex, she has granted her consent. Once intoxicants are in the picture, there is no way to truly ascertain if she can consent or if her inhibitions are lowered and her faculties are out of her control.

          Please consider educating yourself on the topic before you dispense potentially destructive views on consent like that.

  9. Yes.

    Whoever was raped should know that they have universal sympathy and support-- rape is one of the most serious crimes, it is absolutely not excusable, and it is not tolerated in our society. Don't even doubt that for a moment. Don't let the fact that not every accused is punished, deceive you into thinking that any rape whatsoever is accepted.

    And don't let the fact that some people-- myself included-- are alienated by opposition to due process or other absurdities-- give you the impression that we don't believe in the heinousness of the crime. It is a crime, and should be adjudicated as such by law enforcement.

    • Anonymous

      This is a complete non sequitur. No one is arguing that rape isn't heinous or that it shouldn't be prosecuted fully.
      The debate is over whether we should throw due process to the winds and expel a student who has been exonerated by the judiciary and whose accuser would rather engage in a histrionic mattress protest than actually try to pursue the case via law enforcement. Keep in mind that this student, who has yet to be found guilty of anything, had his name disseminated all over campus, published in the Spec, and googlebombed completely.
      I'll take rule of law over vigilante justice and no due process.

  10. Anonymous

    Let's forget the fact that people think that these survivors are speaking out for fame. Is this movement not powerful solely because it is putting a fire under the behinds of Columbia administration? Everyone deserves statistics and everyone deserves a safe campus. We shouldn't allow them to hide things from us or slide by because Columbia is an "Ivy". This issue is bigger than us...So many other students at other schools have filed Title IX lawsuits. This issue branches out farther than College Walk. As an institute of higher education, we should be at the forefront of this issue and trying to make a change. Not debating over the validity of someone's rape claim.

  11. Anonymous

    Imagine some poor Azn who worked his ass off to get into an IVY, he shows up on the first day with his proud parents, and they are greeted by this army of unhinged, screaming millennials with "WELCOME BACK, RAPISTS" signs.

    • Anonymous

      Story of my fucking life. Affirmative action + Barnard is the root problem here. Columbia let dumbasses into the school, and now they must face the consequences. Thanks for diluting my degree, assholes.

      • slicker  

        1) you completely just equated people having a discussion about rape / people who have survived rape and assault to "being dumbasses"

        2) affirmative action wasn't even briefly mentioned in any of the comments and you brought it up. your bitter racism is showing and it's vile

        3) i hope you get trapped in a cave in and have to eat centipedes for the rest of your puny life

  12. concerned graduate student  

    These are some of the most troubling comments I've seen discussing rape (from all sides)on any internet fora - which is saying something. I would be deeply ashamed to have or have had the authors of some of these comments as my student.

  13. Refreshing

    An overwhelming number of commentators understand and appreciate principles of due process. They reject lynch mobs. They question purposeless protesting. They value facts over mere statements. They stand apart from hysterical rhetoric. That's refreshing. It's Columbia, after all, where people are smart and can see through the illusory fog that a nano-fraction of students are trying level on the campus. Maybe it's time for the vast majority of students to stroll down college walk with signs opposing the "guilty because I say so" and "don't hold my hand until I sign the dotted line" policies that a handful of thoughtless students (a few of really prepared really offensive placards) are advocating. Let do it.

    • 01  

      This demonstration at lowe wasn't in any form screaming "we hope all rapists get expelled and crucified immediately," though I can see how you can get that vibe without ever actually reading anything that any of these people have said. A counter-protest against a demonstration that, albeit does use some radical rhetoric, would only be indicative of an unwillingness to empathize or have a conversation with people whose lives have been affected by something as traumatic as rape or sexual assault.

      I would love to see the students who are advocating the "guilty because I say so"signs publicly. I don't think there are and I don't think the big movements of policy change give them credence. That being said, they are still members of our community who have been affected by rape in some way and still need to be talked to.

      If you or anyone on this campus is unwilling to engage in a meaningful conversation with people that you don't jive with, you should transfer.

      If you don't understand the fundamental power dynamics of victim and perpetrator, especially in cases where the perpetrator more often than not is male (note that the victims aren't always female either, though most of the time they are), you should educate yourself.

      If you want justice or due process for people who have been accused of rape or sexual assault because you are skeptical of the testimonies of a portion of our community and think they might be trying to benefit from it for publicity, then you need to think about an effective way to start that process without coming off like you just hate women, because that's all that it reads like.

      • Sam

        I am sorry but everything the CU activists do sounds to me like they absolutely hate all men. Here's one slogan that really pisses me off: men rape! - We, the other side argue but we never say - women are sluts. How would that sound to you all if we carried signs like those?

  14. Anonymous

    there's a sign in the back that says "Capitalism and Patriarchy engender rape"

    let's send these idiots and their puppet master crit lit professors to the worker's paradise of North Korea

  15. Watching from the sidelines  

    Can someone please explain what is happening with the protesters and the administration? What exactly are the protesters asking for/protesting? I see "more transparency and more programs" but what exactly does this mean? I have also heard no mention of SVR (Sexual Violence Response) which is accessible by anyone and is staffed 24/7:

    Someone please explain because I'm getting lost in the sea of articles and none of them seem to give any detail whatsoever.

    • Anonymous

      Read the letter bwog linked to. It explains in detail what they are asking for.

      It should be noted that they are asking for MORE and BETTER due process, rather than NO due process as some of the commentors seem to believe.

      Honestly I don't understand why the demands are such a big deal. There are ao many schools that have an entire "sex week" devoted to consent education. Why is Columbia so opposed to rape prevention?

  16. OldAlum

    Help me out here; I'm a little confused. I am entirely sympathetic with the victims of assault and rape. I am also totally committed to the notion of due process. Is there some reason why the NYPD is considered an inappropriate agency for addressing the need for justice? Do the alleged victims have a reason for not reporting assaults and rapes to the police as a first step in the legal process? What compels the University to insert itself in this process? Why aren't all allegations referred to the police? The sex crimes unit was initially begun under the leadership of Linda Fairstein, (Vassar, UVA Law School) and is sensitive to sex crime issues and is an effective prosecutorial unit. Why isn't this unit the appropriate resource for handling these issues?

    • Anonymous  

      Because there is no real crime here. This isnt about getting raped. This is about deciding 2+ years after the fact that you didnt actually like the guy and reporting him as a rapist, then pulling a huge stunt for attention. This is about a girl who claims a guy was "psychologically coercive," again 2+ years after the fact, claiming that because he was a jerk, she was raped as well.

      This is about showing that any interaction can be retroactively deemed a heinous crime, and since of course the real police dont consider this kind of "regret sex" a crime, they're going through the university system.

  17. the morning after

    "survivors"???? How many men have sex in alcoholic circumstances that they would not choose to if sober with females they would not choose if they were sober. I have seen this happen. Yet men do not have the privilege of turning the morning after regret into a law suit. The stupid idiot the night before transforms into the innocent victim the morning after in a Cinderella type transformation. That privilege is reserved for women alone. THAT is sexism.

    • Anonymous  

      This is true. I recently spoke with a women who worked in a rape crisis center and she said that about 50% of people coming in reporting sexual harassment and assault were men. This too, however, is a product of the patriarchy, right? On top of men raping women, the raping of men is too often overlooked, their stories are laughed at and waved aside as inconsequential, because people generally don't believe that it happens. And that is a problem.

      That being said, your "That privilege is reserved for women alone" bit sounds kind of bitter. Let's recognize what the real problem is here.

  18. I believe you.

    To all those who spoke and bravely shared your stories: thank you. I thank you as a survivor who doesn't have the courage to do what you all did, one who can now look up at your incredible strength and resilience and have hope that maybe things will get better.

    And I thank you for doing this even though it means having to deal with comments like the ones I keep seeing here, comments that simultaneously doubt your validity and also express anger that you did not contact the police. (To those saying that -- I didn't go to the police either. Most of us don't, because the very investigators charged with protecting us doubt us too.)

    You are incredible. You all deserve support. You deserve to be believed. And while I hope you aren't reading the comment section here because of all the negativity expressed surrounding your powerful speaking out, if you are reading this, I hope you know that there are people out there who stand by you, people who weren't able to be there, people like me who watch you and get strength from your perseverance. Thank you so much.

  19. Anon  

    Rebels without a cause

  20. Time Magazine - Paranoia and False Accusations

    Thank you, Time magazine!

    Rape Culture is a ‘Panic Where Paranoia, Censorship, and False Accusations Flourish’

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