University of Chicago Alumni for a Student Assault Policy

<strong>UPDATE - March 2014: Michele Rasmussen of the University of Chicago Deans Office answered our letter. You can view her e-mail here:</strong>

The University of Chicago is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for its possible breach of the sex-based discrimination law, Title IX.

A group of concerned University of Chicago Alumni, who had been activists for sexual assault policy reform at U Chicago in the 1990s, sent an open letter to University President Robert J. Zimmer, cc'ed to University administrators and members of the press.

<strong>If you would like to add your name to the letter, fill out the form below (scroll all the way down).</strong> Please include your full name and year of graduation, or explain a different relationship to the University in the Comments. Current students, feel free to sign with your expected year of graduation.

<strong>PRIVACY NOTE:</strong> We update this letter periodically with the names, graduation years and comments of additional signers. All email addresses entered into the form below will remain private and will not be mis-used.

To read more about the investigation, see the Maroon's coverage here:

<strong>Here is the text of our letter:</strong>

February 13, 2014

Dear President Zimmer,

We recently learned of the continued problems with sexual assault at the U of C from a report in the Chicago Maroon, subsequently picked up by national media outlets. We are dismayed that there has been insufficient progress to address sexual violence crimes on campus since we were students in the 1990s.

As alumni of the University of Chicago, we are deeply concerned that shortcomings that we identified in our university’s approach to sexual violence when we were students apparently still persist. We hope that the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigation will be the catalyst to meaningful, permanent improvements in both the response to and prevention of sexual assault.

In 1996 and 1997, some of us formed Action for a Student Assault Policy (ASAP) and the Coalition Against Sexual Violence (CASV) to address what we perceived as an urgent need for reform in how our university prevented and responded to sexual and other forms of assault. The organizations were created in reaction to frustration with what we believed were the administration’s mishandled and inadequate responses to both sexual assaults and assaults against minority students.

These broad coalitions included students involved with the Alpha Omicron Phi Sorority, Comadres, Feminist Majority, the Muslim Student Association, the Organization of Black Students, Queers & Associates, the Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Center, the Women’s Lacrosse Team, the Womyn’s Union, and more.

At that time, allegations of assault were often handled by administrators with little or inadequate training in rape crisis response. Investigations, when conducted, were usually channeled through campus security rather than the Chicago Police Department. Campus police and student health services regularly failed to follow best practices when responding to allegations of sexual assault crimes, resulting in loss of evidence and inadequate care. Victims were offered relocation and “mediation” with their assailant, whom they might see in class again the next day. A major problem was the lack of centralized coordination; survivors could bounce from one office to another until they eventually gave up. Support services and resources for victims of sexual assault were patchwork and woefully insufficient.

In October 1996, based on the shortcomings we identified, ASAP proposed specific improvements to sexual assault prevention and response at the University. The suggested improvements included a centralized position or office with additional resources to coordinate response and prevention as well as improved training and the implementation of best-practice protocols for the housing system, counseling center, health services, campus police, faculty, and administration.

We based our proposals on programs that were already in effect on other campuses in Chicago and around the country. Throughout 1996 and 1997, we met face-to-face with several members of the University administration to present our concerns, research and suggestions. We were discouraged by the slowness of response on the part of the administration and what we saw as a failure to implement urgently needed improvements. Then, as happens, we graduated and left the university. We were not there long enough, or with enough leverage, to see that those improvements were made. We had hoped that the needed progress had been made in the intervening years.

Thus it is disheartening to learn, from recent reports in the Maroon and other media, that the University of Chicago seemingly has not yet done enough to improve sexual assault response since we left campus many years ago. The ongoing OCR investigation suggests that serious shortcomings persist. The failure of the University to fully address this pervasive problem has likely contributed to the suffering of hundreds of bright young people, mostly young women, some of whom chose to leave the University, discontinue their education, and even, in the worst of cases, commit suicide.

The University could rely on the natural attrition of student sexual violence activists to maintain the status quo, instead of acting upon opportunities to make needed changes. Our organization, Action for a Student Assault Policy, was named in part to underscore the urgency behind reform; we believed changes needed to be made ASAP. It is painful and ironic to learn that, two decades later, these pervasive problems have not been adequately addressed.

Former students are watching and waiting for the University of Chicago to do the right thing. To that end, we are heartened that the OCR has taken steps to hold the University accountable. President Barack Obama has recently made it clear that ending sexual assault on campus needs to be a priority in higher education (Footnote 1). The University of Chicago has the opportunity to be a leader on this issue. It is past time for the University to implement the current standard best practices for sexual violence prevention and response on campus.

As alumni, we would like to assist in the improvements in any way that we can. What we will not do, however, is stand by and approve of the status quo, or give our resources to a University that still falls short in addressing sexual assault issues in a respectful and appropriate way. Sexual violence prevention and response at the University of Chicago must improve ASAP.

Andrea Laiacona Dooley, AB ‘96, AM ‘96 and Katie Romich, AB ‘98

<strong>Alumni for a Student Assault Policy in support:</strong>
Erin Barrett, AB ‘94
Amanda Bartoshesky, AB ‘97
Kevin Bogart, AB ‘97
James Felix Black, X’94
Maria Cardow, AB ‘98
Olivia Given Castello, AB ‘98
Jane Ellen Clougherty, AB ‘97
Kathryn (nee Regan) Cullen, ‘97
Benjamin Edmonds, AB ‘92, JD ‘98
Francesca Freeman, AB ‘98
Meghan Getting, AB ‘96
Liv Gjestvang, AB ‘98
Colin Johnson, AB ‘96
Sharon L. Jones, AB '97
Jimmy Casas Klausen, AB ‘98
Alma Klein, AB ‘98
Daraka Larimore Hall, AB ‘99
Margaret Lakin Hardigan, AB ‘96
Kristen Lehner, AB ‘96
Liane Lohde, AB ‘98
Melissa Martin, AB ‘95
Michael Rabinowitz, AB ‘99
Marthame Sanders, MDiv ‘96
Andrea Batista Schlesinger, AB ‘99
Margaret Schwartz, AB ‘98
Ellen Sung, AB ‘98
Stephanie Yu, AB ‘97

Thomas Rosenbaum, Provost, The University of Chicago
Aneesh Ali, Associate Provost, Affirmative Action Officer, and Title IX Coordinator
Tanya Oliveira, Attorney, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
Rebecca Guterman and Sam Levine, Editors-in-Chief
Joy Crane, Chicago Maroon, Grey City Journal editor
Jackie Calmes, New York Times
Hillary Crosley, Jezebel
Naheed Rajwani, Chicago Tribune
Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune

1. <em>Jackie Calmes, “Obama Seeks to Raise Awareness of Rape on Campus,” New York Times, January 22, 2014.</em>

<strong>Additional Signers</strong>
Tucker Bennett AB '05
John Wenders 2008
Clara Raubertas 2006
Evelyn Dehais 2009
Nicole Lunning 2005
Eliot Feenstra 2010
Katherine Lieder 2009
Rowena Ruan 2009
John Tamburri 2005
Antonia 2010
William David Jarvis 2009
Lauren Beitler AB '05, MAT '06
Margaret Lebron 2007
Laura Seago AB '07
Patrick LaVictoire 2005
Laura Fuchs 2007
Josephine Ferorelli 2005
Allison Bretz 2009
John Gabriel 2006
Leah Dugan 2007
Amelia Valdez Quellhorst 2007, 2010
Ana Raquel Minian 2005
Katherine Hove 2005
Stacy Hackner 2010

I was involved with a group that tried to get the university to develop a sexual assault policy in the mid-2000s. Survivors struggled through the same inadequate-at-best procedures that ASAP describes attempting to improve in the 1990s. It's sick and disheartening that the university still hasn't changed.
-- Heather Rosenfeld AB 2007

David Adamson 2007
Hannah Kardon 2008
Edward Hershey AB 2001; AM 2003
Rebecca Rothschild 2010
Sara Rezvi 2006
Stephanie Ciupka 2010
Trevor Schechter 2007
Daniel M. Choi 2010
Hannah Gordon 2010
Shana Carp 2010
Marguerite Brown 2010
Ryan Kaminski 2008
Molly Liu 2013
Quan Le 2005
Eliza Behlen 2011
Michelle Schmitz 2011

It is disturbing to think, that there is still no good policy for handling sexual assault on campus!
-- Kyle I.Fuchs AB 1972

Yuxi Lin 2010
Emiliy Hall 2010
Emily York AB 2000
Trevor Oliver AB '97
Loranne Nasir 2004, 2008
Ethan Sribnick AB '98
Matthew Irvin 1999
Vivian Wong 1998
Alex Lampros AB 2007

Sexual assault against women at the university was pervasive when I was there and so under-reported it seemed that each woman was the only victim. That is until she asked her friends about it. The assailants are usually classmates. What is the point of the Unviersity of Chicago having one of the largest police forces in Illinois if it cannot protect its students from each other? The South Side is dangerous, but campus is not Eden.
-- Anne Elise Herold Li 1997

Mari Shopsis AB '98
Megan Hill 2003
Elda Stanco Downey AB '98
Teresa Wood AB '98
carrie wipplinger 1999
Sean Stevenson AB 99
Michael Yarbrough AB '01
Anne Bazile 1999
Sam Jacob 1999

As a member of the Working Group on the Sexual Assault Policy (WGSAP) from 2008 to 2010, I can only echo and stand in solidarity with this statement from ASAP. It is astounding to me that students have been advocating for more just sexual assault disciplinary policies since the early 90s (at least!), and yet the University is still responding to sexual assault survivors in ways that have warranted attention from the US Dept. of Education's Office of Civil Rights. I am very proud of the work WGSAP was able to do with the University and the progress the University has made since that time, but based on the details I've read of the case that spurred this investigation, it's still not enough. As student activists graduate, the University administration is more responsible than ever for maintaining progress and not failing sexual assault survivors
-- Ursula Wagner AM 2010

Michaeljit Sandhu 2013
Julia Conte 2012
Emma Cueto 2013
Jaclyn Peek AB '02
Annie Wu 2015
Sarah Del Ciello 2009
Marissa Lieberman-Klein AB '13
Caitlyn Buchanan 2010
Shelly Horwitz 2013

While I was a student at UC, a a classmate was raped in one of the libraries. The university immediately beefed up security at building entrances. I ask UC to never stop examining and improving its response to rape. This seat of enlightenment should and can be a place of security and just recourse for women and a place in which every man (student, faculty, or worker) knows that rape is a crime that he will never tolerate or commit.
-- Frances Rigberg Baker AB 1966

Sharan Shetty 2013
Naseem Jamnia AB '13
Karen Zainal 2014
Kristina Strother-Garcia 2013
Erika A. Rist AB 2013
Devyn Russell 2013
Kirsten Madsen AB '13
Erika Dunn-Weiss SB'13
Malic White 2012
Adam Rosenthal AM 2012
Danya Raquel Lagos AB '12
Sherry Cao 2014
Evan Garrett 2012
Alexandra Belzley 2015
Molly FitzMaurice 2012
Molly FitzMaurice 2012

This is essential on every college campus. U of C risks losing its admirable standing if it becomes known it is taking the ostrich approach
-- Joan Meier, J.D. 1983

Jason Insworth M.Div 2006
Jesse Hughes 1998
Anh-Thu Huynh 2008
Susan Klumpner 2011
Markie Gray 2012
Ella Christoph AB 2011
Jake Interrante 2012
Mayte Guerra 2011
Sophie Nunberg 2012
Jeremy Kane 2011
Rob Underwood 2011
Sophia Alice 2013
Lily Baker AB 2011
Eddie Sung 2002
Kerith Asma AM 2013
Jennifer Sung 2014
Laura A. McFadden 2013
Jennie Lee 2013
Ariadne Yulo 2014
Roisleen Todd 2014
Catherine Greim 2011
Anna Johnson 2013
Sophie Wereley 2013
Hannah Provenza AB 2012
Cassandra Walker 2013
Katie Hough 2013
Jordan Poole 2016
Eric Zuesse 1966
Dennis Tseng 2013

I know of two sexual assaults when I was an undergrad that the University did nothing about. For shame.
-- Rachel Landau-Lazerus AB 2008 MPP 2012

Peter Borah 2012
Catherine Fireman AB 2011
Constance Grady 2010
Elizabeth Bidwell Goetz AB 2008
Ethan Rodkin 2010
John Payne 2006
Joanna Zabiega 2013
Robert Prag 2008
Anne Marie Williams 2012
Carolyn Bolger AB 2012
Samuel Bloom 2012
Joe Tomino AB 2011
Victoria Garcia 2016
Aleks Ksiazkiewicz MA 2008
Alexander Fix AB '09
Matt McCracken 2013
Marvin Espinozaa 2014
Alice Xue AB 2013
Faith Meixell 2012
Aviva Rosman AB 2010
Gerald Pillsbury PhD '93
Bing Wang AB 2013
Rachel Sullivan AB '13
John Xia 2014
Chelsea Woods 2011
Vicki Pung 2013
Abigail Kraft 2009
Catrina Doxsee 2013
Elisabeth Sanders 2013
Molly Munson 13
Anand Sarwate Affiliate, 2011-2013
Carolyn Wald 2011
nicolle neulist AB 2004
Eve L. Ewing AB 2008
Elizabeth Himmel 2009
Alice Mark 3009
Laura Gluckman AB '08, MAT '10
Julia Sizek 2013
Sophia Kortchmar 2013
Marc Amante AB 2010
Jesse Raber 2005
Mike Mei 2012
Lorca Sloan 2013
Carrie Williams-George 2010
Hallie Trauger AB 2010
Emily Heist Moss AB 2010
Alison Roberts 2014
Jacob Friedman 2011
Mabel Sanqui 2002
Mabel Sanqui 2002
Connie Ma AB'2010
Zekeriya Eroglu 1999
Robert Grider 2010
Maria Fereira 2013
Joan Wolkerstorfer AB 2006
Craig Johnson 2011
Madalyn Zimbric AB 2011
Ian Morrow 2011
Chase Mechanick 2012
nicholas bailey 2012
Elizabeth Gray 2012, 2013
Chana Messinger 2013
Sol Lee 2011
Alison Eckhardt 2006
Josh Zenker 2007
Anna Akers-Pecht AB 2012
Heather Johnson AB '98
Cheyenne Chun 2011
Gautham Varadarajan 2013

I was involved in the Working Group on Sexual Assault Policy from 2008-2010. Why does the University continue to neglect students' voices and safety?
-- Caroline Wooten 2012

Dan Wade 2009
Audrey Habermann AB 2009
Gabriel Jacobs 2013
Alison Kahler 2010
Sara Nasser 2012
Aaron 2013
Alyssa Mathias 2009
Savithry Namboodiripad AB '10, AM '10
David Masad 2009
Daniel Benjamin AB 2009
Sze Han Ong 2011
Andrew Yale MA 2007
Avi Garelick 2010
Maxwell Tang 2010
Emily Gilman 2009
JR Martin AB 2008
Brittany Agostino AB 2013
Anna Rae Goethe 2010
Yasmeen Mekawy Grad
Jaleesa Akuoko 2012
Benjamin Rossi 2010
Alice Magelssen 2009
Katherine Jasa 2010
Alexander Hoare 2014
Luis Brennan 2010
Aaron Weiss Lab School 2008
Jonathan Katz 2014
Ni Qian 2010
Adrienne Hunt 2016
Nikhil Raghuram 9
Yadav Gowda 2014

I personally know students at several universities who were let down by their schools following sexual assault. Let's make sure that our university stops being one of them.
-- Caroline Gully Brown 2015

Marina Peterson 1998
Douglas Graebner 2014

I was an Orientation Leader my second year and am now the ASC Wisconsin regional chair. I helped teach incoming students about consent and practices to protect themselves and others during orientation, and really appreciated that the University included a discussion on drinking and consent, I do think these discussions helped deter many assault cases. But it pains me to learn that the University does not respond as compassionately when these prevention methods fail. High school students read these reports, they investigate universities thoroughly - I would not want my interviewees to feel unsafe or unsupported at their dream school.
-- Chelsea Bingiel 2011

Avital Morris 2017
Natalie Wagner 2017
Louis Wasserman 2012
Dexter N. O'Connell 2013
Daniel Immerman 2008
Ramona Martinez 2011

We have enough problems with poor mental health on this campus without mistreating our students who suffer traumatic events.
-- Misha Grifka 2015

Kevin Cherry 2011 AM
Morgan Britt 2014
Richard J Prince 1969
Gabrielle Friedman MAT 2015
Emily Dawson 2008, 2010
Diana Camosy AB 2010
Avital Datskovsky 2013
Lena Phalen 2013
dmuratore 2016
Elena Bulgarella 2010

The University has a moral and a legal obligation to improve its treatment of survivors.
-- Michelle Kilbourn 2014

Jessee Fish 2016
Daniel Rothblatt 2015
Anaïs Ahmed 2016
Clancy Taylor 2016
Ben Sigrist AB 2012
Hannah Friedman 2016
Matt Kellner 2015

I am absolutely appalled by recent news out of my alma mater. I'm embarressed when friends up affiliated with the university ask me about these cases and what such a prestigious institution is doing with such a backwards policy. I stand in solidarity with my classmates and fellow alumnae who are survivors of sexual assault.
-- Lauren Dean 2013

Blair Thornburgh AB 2012
Trevor Morse 2009
Gregor Siegmund 2013
Mary Schoenbach AB '14
Charles F. Wang AB 2011

Listen up, U of C; your alumni want legal, effective assault policy more than we want Kant socks.
-- Laura Eberly AB 2010, AM 2011

Katherine McIntyre 2011
Deanna Lesht AM 2011
Lucy Little 2012
Alice Grossman Lab 2006
Emily Pelka 2009
Brian Hoey 2014
Edo Choi 2014
Melissa Grossbarth 2016
Lynda Lopez 2014
Vida Kuang 2013
Tyler Darnell 2016

I know my IX. The University, it appears, does not.
-- Yun-ke Chin-Lee 2016

leslie warmus 2011
Olivia Woollam 2013
Sarah Pickman 2008
Chelsea Jaffey 2015
Andrea Haidar 2015
Ryan Rubin 2006
Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein 2005
Nina Trumbo 2011
Sarah M. Collins 1999
Taylor Brogan 2014

Forcing an alleged victim of sexual violence to engage in face-to-face "mediation" with his or her rapist is inexcusable and underscores the University's lack of commitment to providing legal or emotional support to students harmed under University auspices. It's time for a change.
-- Sara Liss 2007

Yusef Al-Jarani 2015
Colin Low 2014
Stephen Wellman 1998
Sara Rubinstein 2016

The university's handling of these sexual assault cases up to this point has been absolutely disgraceful. They should be leaders in this issue.
-- Tristan Bock-Hughes 2017

Alexis Chaney 2012
Andrea Nishi 2013
Daniel von Brighoff AB 1992
Stella Biderman 2016
Jennifer Thall AB 2011
Himabindu Poroori 2015
Brian Sullivan AB 1984
Benjamin Venator 1989
Juliet Eldred 2017
Bradan Litzinger 2011
George Rapidis 2015
Carolyn Hruban 2017
Luis Amaya 2013
Anum Qadir 2014
Kathleen Cole 2017
Genevieve Aoki AB 2009

Our institution should always be head and shoulders above the norm on social issues, and should protect our students with the same conviction we preach in the classroom. It is time our institutions of higher education did more to open the dialogue on sexual assault, and protect its victims.
-- Jessica Chung 2013

Addie Barron 2017
Katelyn Muenck 2014
Isaac Wolkerstorfer (né Wasileski) 2005
Anna Bertiger SB 2006
Aimee Drolet 1991, 1993
Sien Hasker 2017
Harry Milkman 1985

I am now very relieved that my daughter decided not to apply to the college, and I must say, I am not sure that I will encourage her to consider Chicago for graduate school. This is so disheartening. I felt that Chicago, of all places, would treat victims of sexual violence with respect. A close friend was a victim of attempted rake during my fourth year there. It was traumatic not just for her, but for all of her friends. I hope the school treats this letter as the wake up call it is.
-- Amy Lesemann 1985

Judith Silverstein 1985
Ramya Iyer 2010
Bryan Ho 2010
Maira Khwaja 2016
Andres Fonseca 2013
Rebecca Lindsey Uhl 2009
Emily Bao 2014
Craig Segall 2004
Melissa High 2014
Maranna Yoder 2015
Alice Peng 2013
Michael Harrison 2017
Veronica Portillo Heap 2015
Katherine Thibodeaux 2012
Alex Bender 2005
Robert Migliore AB 1983

I am excited to see alumnae and alumni involvement in this issue and to connect with you! I share the concerns expressed in the letter but I have chosen a different path with my money. I have given restricted donations to provide supplemental (not budget relief) funding to address sexual violence on campus. For years, I refused to give money until I saw the University address the issue of non-stranger rape on campus, but attending my 30th reunion brought a change of heart. I decided to make a restricted gift. I am now also a member of the Phoenix society: I assigned the University as a beneficiary of my IRA with the funds designated for "student internships to study or improve the University's definitions, policies, reporting of, disciplining procedures, or programming related to non-stranger sexual assault. Review of other college programs and benchmarking against them is particularly desirable." If others are interested in exploring such restricted giving or (non-giving) options, I'd love to connect with you. We might just have an impact. Since the organizers have everyone's email addresses, might we form a Google group for discussing possible next steps? I'm happy to help.
I'd also like to invite interested University of Chicago people to join Campus Survivors of Sexual Assault, an online forum for alumnae, alumni, and former students who survived sexual violence while attending an institution of higher learning in the United States. We share stories, support, resources, and actions. Friends, family, and allies are also welcome.
Finally, I invite you to visit the Facebook page, Culture of Consent, where I monitor news coverage of non-stranger rape on university campuses.
-- Michele Beaulieux BA Political Science 1982

Elena Smith 2017
Faven Habte 2015
Sydelle Keisler 2017
Nathan Schine 2018
Rina Friedberg 2015
Mark Boykin 2015
Elizabeth Musselman Palmer MDiv 1997 PhD 2014
Carmel Levy 2009
Katherine Mock 2012
Naomi Itzkoff 2015
Jonathan Pesetsky 2015
Maira Khwaja 2016
S. Renee Judd, Ph.D. 1989
Katryce Lassle 2014
Lester Ang 2013
Deborah Megdal 2008
Mark Bouchard 2017
Sobia Haleem 2014
Mallory Bender 2013
Alex Warburton 2011
Amanda Bennett 2014
Ione Barrows 2015
Maxine Berman AB 2016
Alexandra Muma AB 2010
Merry Herbst 2012
Jacqueline Trudeau 2012
Eliza Brown 2013
Kirsten Paige 2011
Mihajlo Gasic 2013
Emma Moore 2012
Nissa Mai 2015
James Michael Levinsohn 2012
Rabeya Merenkov 2009
Oluwadamilola Obaro AB 2012
Anna Jones 2011
Claire Joyce 2011
Philip McGrath 2014
Talia Retter 2012
Padma Chirumamilla AB 2009
Sarah Bingham Miller AB 1992
Emma Cone-Roddy AB '11, JD '15
Morgan Brock-Smith 2015
Eleanor Friedman AB 2005
Patrick Moran 2013
Richard Ruiz 2010
Michael Lipkin 2011
Juan 2013
Richard Ruiz 2010
Elle Opitz 2012
Celia Yuen 2016
Harry Backlund 2011
Ellen Platts 2015
Madeleine Weisman 2012
Cordelia Duff 2014
Farzad Alvi AB 1988

The treatment of sexual violence has clearly been an ongoing problem. Way back in 1981, there was a recognition that title IX was being ignored, and women were not being treated the same as men (the whole WOLF thing about locker rooms). The hope was that "fixes" in the 1990s actually DID fix. Clearly not. And it's not just a case of men versus women; it's a case of people versus people. I love U of C, through and through. But it's definitely time to clean up the dark underside!
-- Marsha Woerner SB 1983

Elizabeth Leahey 2014
Hayley Lamberson 2012
Hui Min Chang 2013
Fiona Malone 2012
Bailey Steinworth 2013
Shenghe Ye 2012

The University's backwards policies are re-traumatizing the very people they are supposed to protect.
-- Marguerite Meyer 2015

Susan Murphy 1991
Sandra Cordoba 2012
Tim Donovan 2009
Alex Kostiw 2009
Molly Steele 2008
Ryan O'Malley 2014
Helen Ellsworth 2015
Alexandra Deis-Lauby 2012
Sara Raftery 2009
Aisha Ahmad 2014
Zach Taylor 2017
Sarah Staudt BA 2010, JD 2013
Tamara Ghattas 2003
Connor Gilroy 2013
Daniel Dziubinski 2013

It's both sad and shocking to find out that the nightmarish stories I heard from friends about the inadequate responses of the University administration to sexual assault cases in the 90's still goes on. Their lack of support for victims led to the widespread opinion among students that the administration sought to "handle" such cases internally only so that they could sweep them under the rug and reduce crime statistics and bad publicity for a University concerned with attracting well-to-do suburban kids to "scary ol' Hyde Park". Well, Hyde Park, and the world at large, has come a long way since then. It's a disgrace the University's support for sexual assault victims hasn't also.
-- Keith Murphy 1997

Seth Samelson 2008
Steven Rice 2012
Lauren Stokes AM 2011
Joanna Behrman MA 2014
Tom Alexander AB 2000
Arvin Shandiz 2006
Patrick Ip 2013
Luis Gutierrez 2000
Sumaya Bouadi 2016
Jon Lee 2013
Monica Apodaca 2000
Philip Ehrenberg 2014
Sithara Kodali 2011
Kara Christensen 2011
Dory Fox AB '13
Vriti Jain 2011
Wilson Gu 2012
Lucy Hall 2010
Ashley Jackson 2011

As an Orientation Leader in my second and third years and a Student Director in my fourth year at UChicago, I always felt that the University wasn't aggressive enough about its sexual assault policies. While I agree that students should be made aware of resources and policies on sexual assault during orientation, I felt uncomfortable with the idea of an open discussion on rape and consent, especially one led by someone with questionable authority, such as another student. The OCR's need for investigation is proof that this method of preventing sexual assault doesn't work. Yes, UChicago prides itself on its student-lead discourse, but when it comes to consent, there is no discussion: NO MEANS NO.
-- Ariadne Sandbeck 2010

Jonathan Sellon 2010
Chloe McCabe 2011
Jorge Saldaña 2013

I am disheartened by the University's handling of these situations, yet I retain my hope that this liberal institution will swiftly resolve the mechanisms that allow for injustices like these to slip under the rug.
-- Jon Sussman 2017

Gale Stam 2006
Rachel Marro 2012
Snigdha Sah 2008
Megan Carlson 2010
Andrea Toro 2007
Caroline Weisser AB 2009
Ayoung Lee AB 2009
Andrea Freerksen 2012
Hale Thompson 1991
Samina Majid Waggoner MD 1990
Tal Kopan 2009
Kathryn Hostettler AB 1991
Heather Lewis 2010
Kailin Liu AB 2010
Dennell Reynolds AB 2011
Lauren Fram 2010
Hanna Mandelbaum 2001
Diane Pyle 1982
Avery Leigh Thomas 2009
Emily Tancer Broach AB 2008 JD 2011
Elizabeth Hart 2011
Alicia May AB 2010
Aliya Bagewad 2012
Olivia Renensland 2010
Agnes Zarkadas 1982
Joanna Lampe AB 2006
Padma Rajagopal 2009
John Laycock 2009
Lauren Makholm 2010
K. Nadine Kavanaugh 1999
Kenworthey Bilz JD 1998
Elizabeth McCreless 2012
Emma Boast AB 2009
Chenab Navalkha 2013
Dan Reis 2013
Rachel Swift 2006
Jamila Taylor 2014
Hannah Landes 2017
Nora Sandler 2014
Xandra 2016
Shirley Zhang 2017
Hayley Goldstein 2017
Lester Hu PhD 2019
Stephanie Diaz 2017
David Clingingsmith AM 1998
Jonathan Warczak 2012
James Magnuson 1993
Ben Ropp 1994
Ian Ramdeen 2015
Sam Scarrow 2013
Julianna Peebles 2014
Christina Sprayberry 2011

I was disappointed to read about the University's response to sexual assault survivors and am hopeful that they not only abide by current law and policy but instill additional measures to aid survivors and prevent sexual assault.
-- Leigh Knittle MA 2005

Mandi Medeiros AM 2010
Ellie Mejia 2017
Joan Park 2014
Aden Kumler AB 1996

I refuse to accept that my friends have been told to keep the proceedings of their hearings quiet, that they can't tell me the horrors you put them through: the blaming, the disrespect, the blatant disregard for their humanity. They are told that it was unclear if there was consent so their attackers remain on campus (fyi if consent's unclear there was no consent). They walk around in fear. And to tell them their rapists' privacy is more important than their voice is despicable. Survivors like me have asked politely too many times. Everyone's watching now, the University's dirty little not-so-secret is in the public eye, and I couldn't be more overjoyed.
-- Christina Pillsbury AB '14 (c/o 2012)

Nicole Lipitz AB 2011
Simona Mkrtschjan 2002
Kaitlin Thompson AM 2014
Ted Kent 2013
Anamaria Hernandez 2014
Zoe Boundy-Singer 2016
Maggy Liu 2017
Sara Corderman AB '13
Gregory Goodman 2012

I was so very disappointed to learn that UChicago would continue disrespect its students in such a way even after student feedback from 1990s. UChicago should be more concerned with treating its students well and less concerned with being a famous university.
-- Coya Castro 2006

Ellie McGarvey 2010
Michael Kastler 1990
Jackson Oakley AB 2015
Mary Sharon Kastler 1990
Ella Farmer AB 1995
Amanda Godley 1991

I am shocked and dismayed that, after more than 20 years, the University continues to fail its students and add to the profound violations they have suffered. The U of C has betrayed far too many people.
-- Leah (Koch) Kabira AB '92

Maureen Loughnane AB 1993
Inge-Marie Eigsti 1993
Danielle Rue 1992
Jessica Zhang 2012
Adrian Trust 2017
Ana Torres Villafana AB 2012
Kaitlyn Lee 2014
Nicholas Welsh 2012
Nicole Lasky MA 2007
Eric Rogers AB'05 AM'07
Kari Berglund AB 2011
Petar Yanakiev 2012
Sarah Follmer 2005
Kymberly Harrington 2012
Stephanie Zelaya 2013
Ashley Mitchell AB 2012
Aaron Stigberg 1995
Sakina Kazmi 2012
Saul Hymes AB '02
Elisa Shoenberger 2006
Zainab Imam MPP 2015
Emily Peters 2003
John Tangren AB 2000
Monica Mercado AM 2006
Tyler Kissinger 2016
Emma Marquez 2010
Susie Turkson 2012
Wendy Easton 1984 MFA
Susie Moya 2011
Sandra Storey AB '89
Jack Jin Gary Lee AB 2007
Victor Bayona 1999
Maheema Haque 2017
Christopher Snyder 1994
Claudia AB '13

-- Leah E. Olm 2007

Sara Rezvi 2006
Kathryn Campbell-Kibler 1998
Erin Kelsey 2012
Mollie McQuillan 2000
Brook Dooley AB 1996
Marisa Gora 1995
Zulma Terrones AB '12
Kira Bennett Hamilton AB 2008
Kamilah Foreman 2001
Lola Thompson 2007
Susan Paul A.M. 1998
Tim Goodell 1985
Haley Markbreiter 2012
Virginia Hill 1990
Sofia Flores 2015
Pete Brooks 2014
Tova Reiter 2015
Tanvi Mago 2015
Kate Christensen 2017
Serena May 2012
Maia Rigas 1990
Ligia M. Castro-Monge AM 1988
Jenna Harper 2008
Sarah Tsai A.M. 2008
Christina Williams 2010
Laura Fillenwarth AM 2008
Elisabeth Helmy 2007
Anita Dutta 2013
Max Shron AB 2009
Jerry Pollock 1991
Wendy Schoen MBA 1980
Genevieve Denoeux 2014
Karen Hopkins 1993 PhD

I am not surprised by this as I continue to watch UofC ignore so many social justice issues where they could leaders. Empire building does not leave much time to concern oneself with the health and well being of students or neighboring communities.
-- Lisa Marie Pickens BA 1980; AM 1987

Heather Ferguson 1991
Vicki E. Jenkins 1982
Veronika Hanko 2012
David Collier AB '12
Gwenyth Bailey Knorr 1984

This social sickness seems to be a national epidemic among our institutions of higher learning. If you doubt this assertion, I invite you to investigate any university and see if it can boast a 100% record of openly reporting sexual assaults involving its students, through the media, the same way sexual assaults occurring in the public population are officially handled. Why does being a university student seemingly provide the alleged perpetrator with some sort of "protective shield," where although the student is most likely legally an adult, the university administration takes the official stance that they are protecting the rights of "both parties" by remaining silent? As if they are dealing with an incident that has occurred between children?!? Until professional, consistent investigatory practices, overseen by officials outside the university environment, are in place to address these crimes, unfortunately more will continue to follow.

Morgan Anderson 2010

Dean Art should be fired and prosecuted. From reading of this most recent story that was published it was her recommendation that led to the improper and illegal mediation. I also know on several other occasions at the university where felonies were committed and Dean Art attempted to cover them up.

Melissa Curran-Moore 1989

In my first month on campus, I was shocked by the rape and assault of two freshmen who were walking across the Midway. I was even more shocked by the University's lack of response in helping these individuals. At least one of them ended up transferring to a different school. I am pleased to see the investigation because the University seems to practice a strategy of delaying action until affected students and/or students demanding action "go away" via transfer or graduation rather than addressing chronic problems. Obviously, the problems begin again with the next class and are not going to go away without the shining of a light by an outside agency that will require action and accountability.

Emily Wolf 2008
Grace Fisher 2012

I never reported my assault because I couldn't see the point of, essentially, retraumatizing myself. If the administration can give students FAITH that they'll be dealt with humanely, more people will come forward and get the help they need (and I so desperately needed)

Gene Kopp 2011
Kenneth Jones 2006
Morgan Warfield-Reich 2009
Mariana Villanueva Huerta 2015
Valerie Morrow 1981
Linden Higgins 1980

I am discouraged to read of the issues on the U of C campus regarding "acquaintance rape". A survivor myself, I can assure the powers that be that no one ever levels accusations of assault without there being grounds: dealing with authorities ("mediation" with the assailant? Whose idea was *that*) adds such trauma to the original assault that only the strongest can persist. But perhaps that is the goal: to discourage victims from bringing to light their experiences?

Colin Weaver 2013
Isra Shah 2012
Luis Brennan 2010
Emilee 2003
Patti Kameya 2006 PhD

<strong>Total Number of Signers: 623</strong>

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