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Kudos to the students at Dickinson College

04 Mar

A big shout-out to the students at Dickinson College, who have staged a sit-in to demand changes to the school’s sexual assault policies, and who are continuing their protest until additional concessions are made.

The actions started on Wednesday, when  300 students marched to the President’s Office and staged a sit-in.  Their efforts have already had an impact.  Local CBS news from Carlisle, Pennsylvania reports that “the protests have convinced the administration to include reports of sexual violence on the school’s text alert system.”  But to their credit, the students are refusing to end the sit-in until the remaining demands are met. Jezebel, quoting from student representatives, reports that these include:

1. Full transparency of the sexual misconduct policy process
2. The Department of Public Safety must send red alerts to the whole campus when sexual assault or rape is reported
3. A stronger administrative stance against sexual assault and rape
4. Expulsion must be the protocol for students found guilty of rape and sexual assault
5. Focus on creating a proactive education-based sexual violence prevention program
6. Specific plans and dates for concrete changes

The students’ commitment to collective action, their focus on raising consciousness and awareness around the issue, and their concrete recommendations for the university are all critical elements to their success.  It is exactly these kinds of efforts that will have a real impact on the issue of sexual violence.

This coverage by ABC news includes video and images of the protests, and you can hear directly from the students about their efforts:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n041H6NP48

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