We, the Graduate Students Association, applaud and agree with the SA Government’s statement on the EEOC Complaint and the University of Rochester’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
The University’s policies and procedures have failed to ensure the safety and protection of its students. Since this case deals explicitly with graduate students, we feel an urgent need to speak out and declare our support for victims of sexual misconduct. Whether the University administrators regard the allegations as factual or hearsay does not change our position. We stand with our fellow students (graduate and undergraduate) in the ongoing effort to create a safe and inclusive environment within and beyond the University. As the GSA, we offer a safe space for all students. We encourage students who would like to join us in this effort or who need support to contact us.
Like the S.A. Government, we call upon President Seligman, the Faculty Senate, and the University administration to change the current policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, there is very little protection offered to graduate students when this misconduct occurs. The EEOC Complaint demonstrates the absolute insufficiency of the policies and procedures in place to protect students. At the President’s town hall meeting on September 12, he offered to include student leaders in discussions regarding policy change. The GSA is elected to serve the graduate student population, and we plan on collaborating with other student leaders to create a safer community.
We commend the efforts of the undergraduates and SA—their support of the graduate community has been tremendous. We echo their mention of the seven Title IX deputies in place to serve students. If you would like to utilize other University resources, a list of them can be found here. We reiterate the S.A.’s mention of resources outside the University, such as Restore, which is an independent organization that assists those affected by sexual assault.
With you all,
The Graduate Students Association