For Immediate Release
March 30, 2017
Jessica Fournier, Organizer, Our Harvard Can Do Better
Amelia Goldberg, Organizer, Our Harvard Can Do Better
Sarah Gutman, Co-President, Harvard Law School Harassment Assault Law-Student Team
Katherine Leung, Co-President, Harvard Law School Harassment Assault Law-Student Team
#CantTrumpOurTitleIX: Harvard College, Law School, and Graduate students march silently through Harvard Yard; release new Dear Colleague Letter in joint action with 90+ organizations nationwide.
In collaboration with over 90 other anti-sexual violence organizations, Our Harvard Can Do Better and Harvard Law School HALT have signed a new Dear Colleague Letter that outlines activists’ demands for their universities’ response to sexual violence. This letter, addressed to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, identifies the aspects of Title IX that are essential to the protection of survivors. We call on the Trump administration to uphold these protections in order to ensure that people of all genders have equal access to education. Our collective demands will be released tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action to defend Title IX on campuses around the country.
In light of the Trump administration’s failure to commit to enforcing Title IX rights — Betsy DeVos said in her confirmation hearing that it was “premature” to commit to upholding federal civil rights law — we also call on the University to set an example for its peer institutions. We urge Harvard University to be proactive in implementing the Title IX best practices outlined in the letter. In light of the alarmingly high rates of sexual violence reported in last fall’s Campus Climate Survey, and the pervasive rape culture evident in the Men’s Cross-Country and Soccer team scandals, it is imperative that Harvard take immediate and decisive action to change its policies and culture.
Harvard community members will rally at 4 PM, on Friday, March 31, outside Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard to read our demands and present them to University President Drew Faust. We will then march silently through Harvard Yard in solidarity with the sexual violence survivors who are too often silenced by the University.