Petition for administrative response to Prof. Kipnis

This petition was created as a direct response to an article released by Professor Laura Kipnis. Community organizers issued a letter in response, and will be presenting both this petition, and signatures provided to the letter, to the administration on March 9th. Links to each piece referenced are provided below the body of this petition.


To whom it may concern:

On February 27th, Northwestern professor Laura Kipnis published an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education criticizing restrictions on faculty-student relationships and belittling the experiences of Northwestern’s sexual violence survivors. Her arguments directly call out and challenge the new sexual misconduct policy enacted by Northwestern last January.

We are angry because, for months last winter, advocates for survivors on this campus had to stand by and listen to statement after statement from the University defending itself from lawsuits, protests, and widespread criticism over its handling of Professor Peter Ludlow’s sexual abuse of a student. We are angry because now that the university’s policy on sexual misconduct has come under fire again, in a way that has caused tremendous hurt to members of Northwestern’s community, this time the University has remained silent.

We, the undersigned, are therefore calling for a swift, concrete and direct response from the University, affirming its commitment to its own sexual misconduct policy. We call for a swift, official condemnation of the sentiments expressed by Professor Kipnis in her inflammatory article and we demand that in the future, this sort of response comes automatically. We should not have to ask the University to defend its own policy, survivors and broader community.

Furthermore, we renew our demands for increased transparency regarding Northwestern’s handling of sexual assault. NU must publicly commit to releasing data within the next few years reporting the number of people reported for assault, the investigative findings, and, dependent on findings, the sanctions handed down. As students, we cannot hope to understand the full picture of how sexual assault happens on our campus and whether or not the University deals with it effectively without this crucial information. When the data is hidden from view, public discussion around the efficacy of our new sexual misconduct policy and procedures for handling sexual violence cases is impossible.

If you want more information on the event planned for March 9th: (event link)
Kipnis article:
Response letter:
Please consider signing onto the letter:

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