“Organizing for Survivors” Demands Title IX Policy Changes

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Editorial Note 3/22/18: The referenced video was removed by the author upon request.

On Monday at 12:15 p.m., members of the student group Organizing for Survivors (O4S) released demands for changes in the way the College handles sexual violence on campus. Drawing a crowd of roughly 100 people in the center of Parrish Hall, students relayed personal experiences, voiced their grievances, and presented itemized and concrete requests for changes in College policy. Immediately prior to the rally, they presented their demands to President Smith, who declined their invitation to walk down to the lobby to view the demonstration.

Below is an excerpted video of the demonstration. You can read O4S’s full and detailed list of demands in Voices, here.

Keton Kakkar

Keton is a junior from Sands Point, New York. Intrigued by theories of interpretation and communication, they have chosen to study computer science and English literature. Their hobbies include bouldering, hiking, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

7 comments

  1. 3
    Lydia Koku says:

    Hi Professor Munson,

    I am a member of the core group of Organizing for Survivors. We actually published an article explaining our reasons for calling for these resignations here: https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/23/from-organizing-for-survivors-o4s-dean-braun-dean-miller-and-beth-pitts-must-resign

    For future reference, check voices.swarthmore.edu for all of the articles we have published relating to this issue.

    Best,
    Lydia

  2. 2
    Swat Survivor says:

    Hi Professor Munson,

    I have the utmost respect for you. With that being said, while you are free to disagree with O4S’s demands, I find it unreasonable to slander The Daily Gazette, or campus publications in general, for publicizing these demands. As with any publication, it is our duty to inform the campus community of current significant occurrences on campus. Furthermore, these demands were made public to a very large crowd in Parrish the same day, making these demands public information–O4S did not act dependently on the DG nor Voices to publicize their demands. And FYI, The Daily Gazette and Voices, as well as the Phoenix, have focused on a wide set of issues.

    Blue Apron:
    https://daily.swarthmore.edu/2018/02/22/blue-apron-is-not-the-answer/

    Gun Control and The March for Our Lives:
    https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/23/protesting-for-our-lives

    Sabra Hummus and Israeli Occupation:
    https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/27/more-than-hummus-renewing-the-call-to-boycott-sabra
    https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/21/no-jewish-liberation-with-israeli-occupation

    And there are countless others.

    I am largely involved in campus journalism; I find it entirely insufferable to insult our publications, or, for that matter, to be condescending and demeaning to all students by describing us as ‘just kids’–a phrase that you used, not we. Student journalists may not be professionals, but with the little resources the College gives us to operate, we work our very hardest.

    It is up to you to choose what articles you expose yourself to.

    Sincerely,
    A campus journalist and survivor

  3. 0
    Rosaria V. Munson says:

    As I was browsing the Daily Gazette a couple of days ago, I came across the list of complaints from the students who protested about the implementation title IX. I have been thinking about the problem for some time on my own but, for some reason, now that I try and retrieve that communication for the purpose of answering it on the basis of my beliefs, I find that it has been deleted. I do not know why; perhaps it has to do with my own ineptitude on the internet.

    I do not often (actually, never had) publicly commented on this sort of issues. I am very sympathetic to the cause of title IX defenders and survivors, as everyone should be. I found that many of your points (‘demands’, as they were termed) were well taken, or at least worthy of discussion–is there a role of fraternities at Swarthmore? Should convicted offenders be allowed back to campus? (gosh, I wish I had the original list of demands in front of me for precise reference!).

    There was one point, however that I found profoundly unacceptable on its terms: the demand (yes, ‘demand’) that three individuals in the administration be fired. I have no relation with any of these named individuals, and no stakes invested in their fates. To any objective observer, however, it is absolutely scandalous and unethical that these three people would be named with no explanation given about the alleged high crimes or misdemeanors that would justify your demand for dismissal. Not everyone follows all your meetings, but the Daily Gazette reaches lots of people who may not not have been part of a broader conversation. The demand by which you targeted them, therefore, amounts to undocumented slander. You should be ashamed of yourselves, and I hope you will publicly apologize.

    We can assume that people who work for the College depend on their jobs to support themselves and their families, including possibly small children (I do not expect college students to know, or care about, anything about that). I think that you probably *no idea* of any of these things or anything relating to real life. Perhaps there is a context for your outrage against them, but the thing is: the Daily Gazette published a demand for their resignation without specifying the grounds for that demand for termination. This, once again, is tantamount to slander in my book. It could happen to me or anyone in the faculty or staff. If you do not understand that, you should not be part of this institution or claim to share in its values.

    I think that perhaps you are counting on the indulgence of adults towards you as ‘just kids’. And that is probably a good bet in practice, since no one is going to fire anyone, and nothing is going to happen a the result. One of the reason is that you do not come through as credible or fair, which makes me sad. Because you have good points on you side.

    There is a march going on tomorrow about guns and our lives. Our democracy is in danger because of or current administration. The Daily Gazette has been silent about all these things, except for very parochial, very local, issues. Good look on all that, Swarthmore students!

    Obviously, I do not expect this comment of mine to be published in the Gazette. But I am sending it anyway. Because I am, for once, outraged.

    1. 3
      Keton Kakkar ( User Karma: 3 ) says:

      Hi, Professor Munson,

      Could you specify which list of demands you are referring to? The Daily Gazette very specifically did not publish the demands upon request of the organization who wrote them. The link to the Voices article you see above is to provide more information about the issue and context for which the protest took place, and does not in any way indicate that we as a newspaper are endorsing them.

      We do support the survivors who are rallying to enact change, as written in our editorial here: http://www.daily.swarthmore.edu/2018/03/21/editorial-in-support-of-organizing-for-survivors/. They are our friends, classmates, and peers, who are showing an immeasurable amount of courage in trying to improve the lives of future students. Linking to an external article, as done above, is not tantamount to endorsement, and in this instance is not tantamount to slander, either. If you take issue with a newspaper publishing the demands of O4S, please direct your concerns to the proper organization.

      If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

      Kind regards,
      Keton
      Co EIC
      The Daily Gazette

    2. 1
      Swat Survivor says:

      Hi Professor Munson,

      I have the utmost respect for you. With that being said, while you are free to disagree with O4S’s demands, I find it unreasonable to slander The Daily Gazette, or campus publications in general, for publicizing these demands. As with any publication, it is our duty to inform the campus community of current significant occurrences on campus. Furthermore, these demands were made public to a very large crowd in Parrish the same day, making these demands public information–O4S did not act dependently on the DG nor Voices to publicize their demands. And FYI, The Daily Gazette and Voices, as well as the Phoenix, have focused on a wide set of issues.

      Blue Apron:
      https://daily.swarthmore.edu/2018/02/22/blue-apron-is-not-the-answer/

      Gun Control and The March for Our Lives:
      https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/23/protesting-for-our-lives

      Sabra Hummus and Israeli Occupation:
      https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/27/more-than-hummus-renewing-the-call-to-boycott-sabra
      https://voices.swarthmore.edu/content-1/2018/3/21/no-jewish-liberation-with-israeli-occupation

      And there are countless others.

      I am largely involved in campus journalism; I find it entirely insufferable to insult our publications, or, for that matter, to be condescending and demeaning to all students by describing us as ‘just kids’–a phrase that you used, not we. Student journalists may not be professionals, but with the little resources the College gives us to operate, we work our very hardest.

      It is up to you to choose what articles you expose yourself to.

      Sincerely,
      A campus journalist and survivor

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