On February 14, No Red Tape presented our SAAFE Campus Demands to the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC). The demands, created in conjunction with over a dozen campus organizations, aim to increase resources for survivors of sexual and dating violence at Columbia, particularly survivors who are members of marginalized communities. We were disappointed to discover that CCSC was unwilling to publicize our demands like we asked.
Rather than support our petition, CCSC offered to present our demands to the administrators for us. However, student activists and survivors have spent hundreds of hours crafting these demands; why shouldn’t we have a seat at the table?
As we have many times before, No Red Tape saw the need for direct action last semester when representatives from the co-sponsors of the SAAFE Campus Demands met with EVP Suzanne Goldberg with the intention of having a productive dialogue. Rather than engage with us, Goldberg avoided making any commitments. The only thing Goldberg would commit to was arranging a meeting with No Red Tape, Black Students’ Organization, and James McShane, Director of Public Safety, at the beginning of the Spring semester to discuss Columbia’s Clery Act flyers. However, we still haven’t heard from Goldberg about this.
Goldberg’s avoidance isn’t an isolated incident, but part of a decades-old pattern of administrators covering up sexual and dating violence on campus. As a student governing body, CCSC could productively help survivors in their struggle for justice by including the SAAFE petition in its weekly email. We refuse to be silenced while survivors continue to experience discrimination and violence, and urge CCSC to reevaluate its priorities.
If you feel like Columbia administrators should commit to making our campus safe, please sign our petition here.