The Sexual Safety and Support Alliance (S3A) held a “Campus Forum on Sexual Assault and the Administration,” which was open to all members of the Kalamazoo College community on Monday, May 4.
The forum was in response to the administration’s response to sexual assault on campus.
“I personally have a deep frowned frustration with the ways in which our administration has not prioritized preventing sexual assault on our campus,” said S3A member Maya Edery ’15. “I don’t think having one training once a year where cartoons talk to you is an adequate way to prevent sexual assault. I’ve shared this concern at Take Back the Night and with the Deans [Sarah Westfall, Karen Joshua-Wathel, Dana Jansma, and Brian Dietz], and I feel like we have to hold them accountable.”
In an attempt to improve the way sexual assault is dealt with at K, members of S3A had the idea of organizing the forum so that input from other students could be gained.
Rachel Leider ’15, S3A member, emphasized this by stating, “the forum was so that everyone’s voice could be heard, not just the members of S3A, because they do not represent everyone’s voice.
Although this forum was organized by S3A alone, the ultimate goal is to form a coalition led by a group of students that is more representative of the whole student body.
“We wanted to start a coalition within the community that was outside of S3A,” said Isabelle Ciaramitaro’16, S3A member, “so we organized it [the forum] and hosted it, but in the future we’re really looking at that forum being a kick start to a different coalition that will be handling these issues. That will be related, and S3A will be a part of that, but not the sole organizer or it.”
Leider wants this movement to be student led and hopes more members of the K community can be involved.
“We want it to become it’s own movement,” said Leider. “We want it to be a student led movement that of course S3A will indorse and support. But we want to get the ball rolling because I didn’t feel like all members of campus were represented at this forum. But it was a good place to start.”
During the forum, attendees formed small groups and discussed questions that were posed by S3A members, most of which dealt with the administration’s handling of sexual assault cases.
Although Ciaramitaro stated that S3A is not yet sure what will happen in the future, what has been decided is that “all of the ideas discussed will be consolidated into one document and sent to the people who attended the forum and see what they think about it. Maybe even broaden it out further and engage even more people, and eventually present that to the administration.”
Encouraging more people to join to coalition is very important to S3A at this time, so that the ultimate goal can be met.
“The ultimate goal is to work towards a campus that is fiercely anti-oppression … I think [the forum] was a good first step,” said Edery.
If anyone is interested in joining the movement, they can contact any member of S3A for more details.