VIDEO: University of Kansas students discourage applicants from enrolling because of sexual assaults
- The video demands that the university re-investigate professors, administrators, and students accused of sexual harassment and assault since 2012.
- The group responsible for the video, the September Siblings, take their name from a group of female students who occupied a campus building in the 70's, the February Sisters.
Students at the University of Kansas (KU) made a video discouraging applicants from enrolling at the university because of sexual assaults on campus.
According to The University Daily Kansan, the official student newspaper of KU, a group of students known as the September Siblings created the video, titled “KU—A Great Place to be Unsafe.” The group’s name is a reference to the February Sisters, a group of female students who took over a campus building in 1972.
After two interviews with students who have been sexually assaulted, the students in the video list several demands that the administration must fulfill before the students can “in good faith encourage students to attend KU."
The video is a reaction to a Huffington Post article which revealed that the university considered community service too punitive for KU a student who admitted to campus police that he had continued to have sex with another student even after she told him “no,” “stop,” and “I can’t do this.
“We thought we should be truthful and honest, and tell prospective students that KU is unsafe. Until the administration does something about it, we can’t stand behind it, even though we love KU so much. We’re doing this because we care about our university,” Liz James, a member of the September Siblings, told ThinkProgress.
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The demands include re-investigating professors, administrators, and students accused of sexual harassment and assault since 2012; allowing filers of sexual harassment complaints, unsatisfied with how the university handled their cases, to refile; mandatory sexual assault training for all KU students that is “comparatively rigorous” to Alcohol Edu; and making the minimum punishment for sexual assault and harassment harsher than the punishment for plagiarism.
Other demands include a revision of KU’s sexual assault policies by 2015, carried out by a committee comprised by 51 percent students and approved by the student senate; an immediate investigation into the Office of Institutional Opportunities and Access (IOA) and KU Student Affairs, the installation of a survivor’s advocate within the university’s judicial process through the GaDuGi Safecenter; and an immediate budget increase of $35,000 for the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity.
Finally, the students want the elimination of the “non-consensual sex” euphemism.
James told ThinkProgress that the September Siblings won’t back down.
“We want KU to be a great place to be—not a great place to be unsafe,” she said.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO