In a performance piece called "Carry That Weght". Columbia University senior Emma Sulkowicz is protesting the way the school handled her rape case by carrying her dorm mattress wherever she goes until either her rapist is expelled, or they both graduate.
"Sexual violence on campus is never an easy topic, but what we want to do for our students is keep them aware, keep them safe and know that we will support them," says Director of University Connections Kenna Grant.
Grant says that the school works hard to prevent attacks before they happen with the implementation of the Haven program within the AlcoholEDU course required for first-year students.
Grant explained that prevention should be a community effort. "We can't be everywhere, so we expect the students to help each other so if they see something to say something or do something or get involved on some level."
But prevention can only do so much. According to the most recent release of the University's Clery Crime statistics report, there were two sexual assaults on campus in 2012.
"With every attack that's reported, we know there are two or three that aren't," says Grant.
Once an assault does occur, victims have a few options.
"With the university, what we do is we can issue a no contact order or that person can be banned from the residential side of campus so they can only go on the academic side," says Public Safety investigator Michael Henry. "With outside law enforcement they can go to the courts and file for an order of protection and the court will deem if she's able to get an order of protection."
The White House recently launched the "It's On Us" public awareness campaign, aimed at engaging college communities in preventing sexual assault in the first place by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something to prevent it.
For more information on campus resources, you can visit http://hartford.edu/student_affairs/departments/connections/resources.aspx
For information on the "It's On Us" campaign, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/19/fact-sheet-launch-it-s-us-public-awareness-campaign-help-prevent-campus-Back to Main Page