In Response to Emerson's Latest Statement
Today, Emerson College put out another statement reaffirming their commitment to “fostering a community that is free from power-based interpersonal violence.” The S3 team would like to say that:
We believe survivors. We have seen how many survivors have come forward to tell their stories, and we want to state that we believe you. You do not deserve what happened to you, and we will continue to fight for justice and towards ending power-based interpersonal violence. We also know that there are even more stories that will go untold because of the very real fear of retaliation. We also stand with you, and we also hold you in our work. We hope you are taking care of yourselves and taking breaks from the internet when you need to.
We believe the college is using the confidentiality of survivors as a way of avoiding accountability. While the college cannot and should not speak about individual Title IX cases, they are using that confidentiality as a tool to avoid responding to the actual harm and structural problems that students/alumni are speaking to right now.
Whenever Emerson students speak out and unite, the college will put out a statement like this to convince us that they are doing their absolute best to address our concerns. We would like to remind them that the “Presidential Working Group” was a group that students for the most part did not ask for and do not want. Our concerns with the very concept of the Presidential Working Group have never been seriously addressed. Their draft recommendations that were released at the end of last semester did not cite a single source or statistic to justify how they came to their findings. Which we believe goes to show that the college is not interested in meaningfully examining how their own actions or how they could use research-based, trauma informed practices to restructure the ecosystem of power-based interpersonal violence at Emerson. The college wants you to settle for their less than bare minimum effort, and we are so proud to see Emerson students and alumni demanding more.
As always, we have tremendous gratitude for the work of the Healing and Advocacy Collective, the Social Justice Center and the student activists on campus who have been speaking up against injustice long before we existed. We would not be doing this work without these folks who show us that there are people deeply committed to making this campus safer and more equitable.
As always, if you have any suggestions of how we can do better, what you would like to see us work on or if you are interested in getting involved, DM us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The S3 Team