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Being a part of SAASHA (Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault) during my time at Lawrence, I have learned so much about safety and consent here on our campus. I have found spaces in which our conversations surrounding autonomy thrive and others in which they do not. I have talked about and listened to kink workshops, healthy relationship guidelines and even understood more about polyamory. While Lawrence has provided a means for SAASHA to provide these spaces for other students and myself, I find that there is still more work to be done. During my and other SAASHA members’ time here, we have found that the discussions and information around Title IX are lacking. While we have asked for more, we have not received enough and it is now time that we are demanding more instead. We as SAASHA would like to move forward with a list of demands from the university for the better wellbeing of our fellow students and ourselves.
SAASHA demands that:
1. Information about Title IX is more accessible and readily available
a. This means more coverage through posters, social media pages including the Lawrence University main pages, emails and through the website becoming easier to navigate for this information
b. This also means being able to better navigate the website to make complaints and reports readily and clearly available for anyone wishing to file them. On top of this, we would like that the distinction between the two, reporting and complaints, to be clearly stated and easily found.
2. Victims should not have to move classes or dorms to avoid perpetrators. Perpetrators should be relocated immediately/ASAP upon request.
3. Communication about all of the above and further information surrounding Title IX should not be SAASHA’s job to fulfill. The Title IX office must be doing this. This however does not mean we are not directly involved in the conversation.
4. With that being stated, Title IX should be holding the following public information sessions (with SAASHA part of the conversation instead of leading them)
a. Title IX Informational Sessions
b. Bystander Training
c. Consent Informational Session
5. Title IX should be recognized as more of a Legal Office
a. Should not have to report to D&IC and SHARE
b. Should have an expanded office with more personnel to help complete these tasks
6. The EVERFI training needs to either be adapted or fully replaced to become more trauma-informed
7. The student body should have input in choosing Title IX coordinators
a. The Title IX Coordinators’ demands must be met
b. Title IX Coordinators must be trained in trauma-informed responses to victims that do not allow for any spaces for victim-blaming
SAASHA strongly feels that the meeting of these demands would provide a safer campus in which all students regardless of their background can practice their autonomy freely. We also feel that the protection of victims and their needs has to become a primary focus and this process of reaching this goal can only begin through the meeting of our seven demands. None of these goals are flexible and we do not see them as needing to be such, for sake of the greater campus and all the students who are within it. Lawrence has continually expressed a need for unity through the messages of “We are brighter together” and we would like to point out that until we make this campus space for all voices to be heard and valued, we cannot shine together.