Statement on Dean Kromm's Op/Ed

TW - sexual violence

A No Red Tape organizer handing Dean Kromm the signatures from our petition.

A No Red Tape organizer handing Dean Kromm the signatures from our petition.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2016, we did a petition drop to give Dean Kromm a copy of our petition asking her to apologize for her comments excusing perpetrators and endorse our SAAFE campus demands. Today, Dean Kromm issued a statement in the Columbia Daily Spectator clarifying her comments.

We commend Dean Kromm for both coming out of her office to hear us read our demands and taking the time to write a statement in response, but we also want to reaffirm our stance that sexual violence of all forms can have equally significant impacts on survivors. We do not think certain forms of sexual assault are necessarily more “severe” or worthy of being addressed than others.

We hope that Dean Kromm will come out in support of banning all students found responsible for Gender-Based Misconduct from being Orientation Leaders and TAs. Anyone who violates someone else’s personal space has no place being a guide for incoming students, a job that requires a heightened sense of personal boundaries and leadership, nor in charge of determining students’ grades.

We also hope Dean Kromm will support survivor-centric policies, like our SAAFE campus demands, that will greatly improve the safety of students on campus.

NRT Statement on Columbia Student Council's Inaction

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.