We are Students Supporting Survivors: A Brief History of Who We Are and What We Do
Updated: Feb 25
In the spring of 2019, concerns started to arise on campus around inflammatory comments that were made by men with open Title IX accusations.
This started a conversation among Emerson students about our individual experiences with sexual misconduct at Emerson and the way the school has failed to adequately respond to our complaints, and how many Emerson students do not feel safe on campus.
We honor the survivors who were brave enough to come forward with their stories, and our organization came forward to advocate on behalf of survivors.
We were invited into meetings with the administration last year in which we addressed some of our complaints. We discussed some proposed revisions to Emerson’s Title IX policy which the administration claims that they cannot put into effect, because of proposed changes to federal policy under Betsy DeVos. We also have requested to see what these proposed revisions are, and the school has denied our request time and time again.
The administration brought forth the idea of creating a “committee” of students and faculty to address this issue. Our concerns were, and still are;
What is being put in place to assure that the guidance of the committee will lead to lasting change?
As students, we feel that it is not our responsibility to review policy in regards to Emerson’s systematic mishandling of sexual assault on campus. We are happy to advise from our personal experiences, but we want a board of qualified lawyers, psychologists, advocates and other appropriate professionals to come up with the kind of policies and procedures that will create real, lasting change.
Our Mission Is:
To advocate on behalf of survivors, putting the needs of survivors first.
To educate students with up to date information about Emerson’s sexual misconduct policy/history.
To provide resources for survivors that are comprehensive, intersectional, compassionate and empowering.
To insist Emerson follow it’s existing policy and procedures, and advocate for new ones when necessary.
To encourage a support system within the student body.
To reach out to those doing similar grassroots work on campus and at other colleges.
To hold meetings periodically throughout each semester, where we discuss the work we are doing, and ask students for their input on our ideas.
To coordinate with other existing groups on campus, to continue and support the efforts they have already started.
To create artistic spaces for survivors, the loved ones of survivors and advocates to express their experiences so we all know we are not alone.
To organize political events to create direct action towards combating sexual violence.
Most importantly, we are looking to collaborate with Emerson students, to create a unified collective of students who will let the administration know that we are concerned and will continue to be concerned, and continue to make our voices heard until we see the kind of change and compassion towards survivors that we believe is our right as students.