it’s happening here

...now browsing by tag

 
 

SGA to Present ‘It’s Happening Here’ Lecture Series

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Poster design by Dipesh KC.

This Wednesday and Friday, the It’s Happening Here campaign will be holding a two-part lecture series to “raise awareness about how students, faculty and staff and join together to combat sexual and gender-based misconduct at Skidmore.”

On Wednesday, April 15th at 6:30pm in Davis, Tim Mousseau will be giving a lecture entitled “Retaking Our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation.” A Sexual assault survivor, Mousseau is an active voice on college campuses in educating students about leadership and empowering them to take a stand against sexual assault. Be sure and check him out on Twitter.

On Friday, April 17th at 3:30pm in Davis, Liz Seccuro will be giving a lecture entitled “Social Media & Sexual Violence: How Technology Helps & Harms Students & Campuses.” Seccuro is a victim’s rights advocate and author of the memoir Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search for Justice. You can find her on Twitter, as well as her website.

All these events seem both interesting and incredibly relevant to the current landscape of social activism in fighting sexual and gender-based misconduct, so we highly suggest you attend one (or both) of the lectures and support the great work SGA and many members of the community are doing.

Addison Bennett and Soraya Attia Write Open Letter on Sexual Misconduct

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Thursday evening, the Skidmore community received the the following email sent on behalf of SGA President Addison Bennett ’16 and Senior Class President Soraya Attia ’15:

Dear Friends, Peers, Classmates, and all Skidmore Community Members,

As members of this community, we are writing in support of the recent efforts to bring attention to sexual and gender-based misconduct (SGBM) at Skidmore. This is an issue we have been working as SGA to address since the start of the academic year. Through the It’s Happening Here campaign and our work with the Advisory Council on SGBM, we have made strides to effect concrete policy changes that prioritize student safety and promote a zero-tolerance environment. Reina Kiefer’s readmission hearing protest on March 13 is one of the many examples of activism we have been calling for this year. We urge students to attend this peaceful protest to show our Student Body’s support for survivors across our campus. SGBM happens far too often at Skidmore and, as students, we must stand up together and work to prevent it.

It is time to become the zero-tolerance campus we wish to be. When a community member commits a sexual crime, we should not welcome that person on our campus. SGA has been working with the Advisory Council, the Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs, and other parties to make significant revisions to the SGBM policy, including:

  1. Changing sanction language to state that the College expects the SGBM Hearing Board to expel students found in violation in all cases of SGBM.
  2. When the Board does not choose expulsion, it must justify its decision in a written rationale for the case’s official record, which would be available to both parties.
  3. Expanding definitions of SGBM to include types of misconduct Skidmore does not currently account for, such as emotional and financial abuse.

Thanks to the work of the many student leaders and the responsiveness of the Advisory Council to our serious recommendations, we are proud to announce that changes along these lines and more are likely to be added to the official policy very soon.

​We know the numbers. Too many students of all gender identities experience SGBM while at college. Furthermore, the statistics available to us at this moment suggest that offenders will take advantage of other individuals more than once. According to Jed Rubenfeld in his 2014 New York Times article, Mishandling Rape, “Research suggests that more than 90 percent of campus rapes are committed by a relatively small percentage of college men — possibly as few as 4 percent — who rape repeatedly, averaging six victims each. Yet these serial rapists overwhelmingly remain at large, escaping serious punishment.” At the start of this year, we knew we needed to work toward practices that acknowledge this reality and adequately sanction all sexual offenders.

We are proud to say that progress has already been made so that students will not have to go through what Reina is going through moving forward.  However, at this moment, there are wrongs that must be corrected if Skidmore truly does hold its community values to a high standard. We are here to represent and stand by each and every student on this campus and to advocate for what is right.

​As student leaders — but most importantly, as Skidmore students — who have taken on this task of advocating for changes to our policy and culture, we have been heartbroken and humbled to hear stories from our friends and peers who have experienced SGBM at Skidmore. Whatever our policies may state, in the very real experiences of these innocent survivors, Skidmore does not always appear to prioritize their needs over those of the individuals found in violation.

To Hearing Board administrators and faculty: We implore you to remember the voice of the student body and the changes we have been advocating. Do not allow rapists to be a part of our community.

To the students: We urge you to take notice of this issue, educate yourself, and take steps to establish yourself as our ally against SGBM. We look forward to changes not only to our policy, but also to our culture, and we need your commitment to achieve that end.

To survivors: We admire your strength, and we offer you our advocacy as peers and friends. Please know that you have the support of an overwhelming majority of students and their representatives through SGA. We respect the difficult burden that you must bear, and we hope that the increased attention drawn to this issue will serve to combat without causing further harm.

We hope that our friends, peers, and classmates become our allies in setting Skidmore’s community standards on sexual and gender-based misconduct to a level as high we believe they should be.

Sincerely,

Soraya and Addison

Protest Against Readmission Hearing Scheduled for March 13th

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The hand says it all.

With over 1300 people invited on Facebook and YikYak buzz aplenty, you’ve likely heard about the Readmission Hearing Protest by now, but just in case, you haven’t, here it goes…

On Friday, March 13th, at 2:00pm, the school will holding a hearing for the readmission of a student convicted of three violations of Skidmore’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (who had thereby been suspended from campus for a year), which both the student in question and his victim will be attending. As a response to the hearing–in addition to the perpetrator’s violation of his sanctions when he visited campus last weekend–the victim is holding a peaceful and silent protest that same day at 1:00pm, right before the hearing begins, in the space right outside Gannett. Click to continue »

SGA Outlines New Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Campaign

Monday, February 16th, 2015

(Editor’s Note: Below is an op-ed we received from SGA President Addison Bennett and Senior Class President Soraya Attia entitled “It’s Happening Here: SGA’s Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Campaign.” While neither Bennett nor Attia write for the site–wouldn’t that be a mind-fuck and a half?–they reached out to us about publishing the piece, and we think it’s a good message to get out there, as it very much concerns all of us. That being said, we encourage you to read the memo and share your thoughts on a very important issue–either in the comments section or with Attia and Bennett personally.) Click to continue »