Students for Quality Education (SQE) released a statement March 6 including a list of nine demands for Cal Poly administration regarding sexual assault on campus. The demands will be presented at the Time’s Up Cal Poly Town Hall March 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Phillips Hall.
The town hall will include speeches from survivors, student activists, faculty and local advocacy organizations. The event will also allow for public comment at the end of the speeches.
The nine demands are as follows:
1. Student organizations with multiple perpetrators of sexual assault are to be disbanded immediately.
2. We demand a legal fund for survivors.
3. We demand a statement, in writing, from President Armstrong, that acknowledges the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment on our campus, and also commits his administration to action.
4. We demand long-term mental healthcare and academic support for all survivors.
5. We demand the administration reinstate the campus escort service up to 1 mile off campus.
6. We demand more resources and funding allocated to Safer based on the recent influx in cases.
7. We demand that the administration remove all perpetrators of sexual assault from campus housing.
8. We demand that the administration remove all perpetrators of sexual assault (especially the serial rapist reported on last Fall) from campus immediately.
9. We demand that student fees may not be used to pay for these increased services.
According to Time’s Up organizer and political science senior Mick Bruckner, Time’s Up activists sent a similar list of demands to President Jeffrey D. Armstrong in January, which the university didn’t respond to. Bruckner said these nine demands are a revised and refined list to be “bolder and clearer.” However, Bruckner said the coalition is open to input from the community and the demands can be subject to change, especially after the March 7 Town Hall.
“Town Hall is really about building our movement so they’re up for discussion,” Bruckner said. “We’re going to definitely pose this as a work in progress and things can change. It’s growing so we want to hear a lot of voices tomorrow night.”
Bruckner added that aside from problems with Title IX at Cal Poly, the Time’s Up coalition want to see a general change in campus attitude toward sexual assault in San Luis Obispo.
“Obviously there’s problems with Title IX technically, the system has it flaws, but even if there was a perfect Title IX system, our coalition doesn’t think that that would solve the problem on campus,” Bruckner said. “We think that it comes down to a problem with the culture in this university’s leadership and how they are oriented toward survivors.”
According to university spokesperson Matt Lazier, Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon will attend the March 7 Town Hall. He said Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey is out of town but will watch a recording of the event and brief Armstrong, who is at a California State University commitment in Sacramento.
“Sexual Misconduct in all of its forms is unwelcome at Cal Poly, and university administration supports its campus community members in voicing their concerns about the issue, so that those voices can inform the ongoing campus dialogue,” Lazier said in an email.
Bruckner said to start this conversation with administration, it’s important that Armstrong address the campus and acknowledge that sexual assault is a problem at Cal Poly.
“I think last quarter a lot of members of our coalition were really shaken up about the reports of sexual assault on our campus and I don’t think once we got an email directly from President Armstrong consoling us about the situation,” Bruckner said. “We want to hear more from him, this is such a serious and tragic and horrific issue and our university is pretty much silent in terms of supporting survivors after the fact.”
Armstrong did release a memo Nov. 17, 2017 repeating Cal Poly’s stance on sexual misconduct and sexual assault resources on campus.
“It hurts me to know that members of the Cal Poly community continue to experience incidents of sexual misconduct,” Armstrong wrote in the letter. “We make it a priority to help when these incidents impact individuals’ personal and emotional health and wellbeing, as well as their academic and work success.”
Lazier concluded that administration will continue to collaborate with the campus community to work on addressing the issue of sexual assault at Cal Poly.
“Until such time as sexual misconduct no longer occurs on campus, administration will continue engaging with the campus community to determine how best to constantly improve its investigative and support services and its overall approach to the issue,” Lazier said in an email.