Former President Carter (Basically) Endorses No Red Tape

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Only a few Columbians were lucky enough to snag tickets to the Women in the World Summit this weekend, but all of Columbia got called out by former President Jimmy Carter during Friday’s event. The former president discussed many women’s issues, among them the rampant problem of sexual assault, particularly on college campuses. He denounced universities like Columbia for discouraging survivors from reporting rape in order to preserve the school’s public image. (His whole interview is worth hearing, but skip to minute 24 if you’re just itching to get to that Columbia mention.)

No Red Tape released their response to President Carter’s views:

We could not agree more with the serious concerns Jimmy Carter raised about the flawed sexual violence policies here at Columbia. Allowing deans to decide the sanctions for rapists and determine whether appeals are granted is a central flaw of the University’s formal reporting policy and makes our community unsafe. Firstly, deans are currently allowed to serve as sanctioning officials with little or no training. This is both unacceptable and illegal under Title IX legislation. Furthermore, regardless of the deans’ training or intentions, their responsibilities for fundraising, athletics, Greek life, other student groups and activities, and especially for protecting the public image of the University make it impossible for them to fairly and impartially decide cases of sexual violence. As Jimmy Carter points out, students cannot expect support, justice, or safety from this kind of biased system.

Deans have proven they are unfit for this role by repeatedly making decisions that put survivors and all students at risk. Our deans have allowed rapists and serial rapists to remain on campus in multiple instances, and have failed to implement any meaningful education or counseling programs to prevent perpetrators from committing future violence.

Policies like this–in addition to our vastly inadequate resources and preventative education program–make our community unsafe and demand immediate attention. We need impartial, well-trained, dedicated professionals making sanctioning and appellate decisions, as well as supporting students and survivors in other roles like staffing the Rape Crisis Center full-time and providing counseling at CPS and Furman.

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  1. you know what  

    imma buy his book.

  2. This article is so true

    I never feel safe at Columbia. Rapists in the bushes everywhere- it's all the deans' faults. If only they didn't waste time doing terrible things like considering all of the evidence, and instead, threw out any student who was accused of sexual misconduct, then we'd all be safe. Since, no one has ever falsely accused another individual of sexual assault, or changed their mind after the fact in the history of the world, such a policy would never fail. I for one am sick of looking over my shoulder every time I'm on campus after 6 p.m. It's an epidemic, so hide your kids, hide your wife.

    • stop stop stop

      From Stanford's Men Against Abuse Now (MAAN) site:

      Only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false, the same percentage as for other felonies (FBI). So while they do happen, and they are very problematic when they do, people claim that allegations are false far more frequently than they are and far more frequently than for other crimes. Put another way, we are much more likely to disbelieve a woman if she says she was raped than if she says she was robbed, but for no good reason.

      On a related note, only about 40% of rapes are ever reported to the police, and this is partly because victims know that if their claim becomes public, their every behavior will be scrutinized, they will be shamed for their sexual history, and they will be labeled as lunatic, psychotic, paranoid, and manipulative. Just because someone does not report their crime does not mean it did not happen. Furthermore, only one in two claims lead to prosecution, so if the DA decides not to prosecute, that says nothing about whether or not it happened.

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