In a press release this evening, the Coalition Against Sexual Violence has released a list of comprehensive reforms they’d like to see made with respect to the sexual assault policy here at Columbia.
This comes after yesterday’s community forum in Lerner where participants were asked to make policy suggestions and proposal edits.
The proposals constitute “a living document that will continue to change with continued input from the community and as we continue to discover solutions to the concerns raised by survivors at Columbia” and call for better staffing of the Rape Crisis/Anti Violence Support Center, changes to Consent 101/Keeping Sex Sexy, a reorganized PACSA (Presidential Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault), and increased transparency about the process in general, as has been requested in the past. Several of the issues addressed in the proposal have also been highlighted in Anna Bahr’s series of investigative reporting for The Blue and White.
Full statement from the Coalition
[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY]
PRESS RELEASE: Student Coalition Announces Proposals for Fighting Sexual Violence and Rape Culture at Columbia
The Coalition Against Sexual Violence (CASV) at Columbia University, representing a broad community of students and student groups, presents our Student Proposals to Fight Sexual Violence and Rape Culture at Columbia. These recommendations call for a comprehensive set of changes to the policies, resources, and community practices related to sexual violence and rape culture at Columbia. The full text of our proposals is available here.
These proposals are the result of extensive research, professional support from legal experts and leading campus safety organizers, diverse student input, and, most importantly, the concerns raised by survivors. They include expanding currently existing consent and rape culture education programs, improving crisis resources for survivors, and implementing long-term accountability and student input mechanisms, and addressing concerns raised by survivors and resource providers regarding the adjudication process.
This document has been formally presented by representatives of the Coalition to senior administrators overseeing the President’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault (PACSA), Sexual Violence Response (SVR), Columbia Health Services, and Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct (SSGBSM), who will consider these proposals as part of their current review of Columbia’s sexual assault policies and procedures. The Coalition will also continue to organize students on campus to educate students, create a culture of consent, and push for these changes through student action.
This is a working draft, and will be revised continually as more voices come into this conversation and more concerns are identified. The Coalition will continue conversations about how to best protect and support Columbia students on campus. As part of this work, CASV will be holding open workshops where all students are welcome to propose revisions to this document, to voice concerns, and otherwise participate in the continuous process of advocating for a safer campus community.
CASV is a coalition of students and student groups who are interested in fighting sexual violence and rape culture at Columbia. The Coalition is a nonhierarchical group, open to all students and community members, which strives to promote and facilitate nonviolent communication and safe spaces. The goal of this group is to allow all students to share information, resources, knowledge, events and activism, and help elevate the diversity voices and of perspectives on these issues.
If any member of the community would prefer to contribute to the conversation anonymously, please use this Google form. Please note that the responses to this Google form will be anonymous, but visible to all of the students actively working to address sexual assault on campus.