Former President Carter (Basically) Endorses No Red Tape
Written by Bwog Staff
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.
Tags: did he say he teaches at columbia?, fighting for change, no red tape, president jimmy carter, sexual assault, we probably would have actually gone to sunday school had a former president been our teacher, women in the world