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CMUSTUDENTSAGAINSTSEXUALASSAULT

Hewasplanningtorapeme"
"Whywouldheever"
"Becauseheknewhe'dgetawaywithit.

CourtneySummers
,
AlltheRage

SexualAssaultPolicyReform

1. Consequences:AnystudentfoundresponsibleforsexualassaultbyCMUsuniversity
disciplinarycommitteewillfaceimmediateexpulsion.

2. Transparency:ThefollowinglististobepublishedinCMUsAnnualSecurityandFire
SafetyReport:
ThenumberofsexualassaultcaseswhichreacharesolutionthroughtheUDC
ThenumberofstudentsfoundresponsibleforsexualassaultthroughtheUDC
ThenumberofstudentsexpelledforsexualassaultthroughtheUDC

3. Education:BothpolicychangeslistedabovewillbefurtherexplainedbyatitleIX
coordinatorand/orgendercoordinatorduringorientationweekforthefreshmanclass.In
addition,thestudentbodywillbemadeawareofthepolicychangethroughanallstudent
email,aswellasanadditioninCMUs
TheWord,
bothonlineandinprint.

Introduction

Rapeisanepidemicacrossthecountryandinfectseverypartofourlives.Alongwiththe
unfortunatefrequencyofrape,wealsoseeawidespreadrapecultureintheUnitedStatesthat
normalizesandevenpromotesrapeasameansofcontrolanddomination.Oncollegecampuses,
weseeasmallmicrocosmofthisendemicviolenceaspeople,alargemajorityofwhichare
women,arefirstfacingsexualviolencefromtheirpeersandcolleaguesandthenfacingan
indifferentcollegeadministration.Collegestudentshavefinallystartedtorejectthestatusquo,
staginganumberofprotestsandstartingfederalinvestigationsagainstvariousschoolsthatfailto
protecttheirstudents.Ninetyfouruniversitiesacrossthecountry,includingeliteuniversitieslike
Princeton,Yale,andHarvard,aswellasourownCarnegieMellonUniversity,haveundergone
orarecurrentlyundergoinginvestigationsbytheEducationDepartmentsOfficeforCivilRights
1
forTitleIXviolations.
TitleIXpromisesfederalprotectionagainstdiscriminationonthebasis
ofsex,which,thiscase,referstotherighttogetaneducationwithoutfearingsexualviolence.
Clearly,thesystemisbrokenifourbestandbrightestcantcountonbeingprotectedfromsexual
assaultbytheuniversitiestheyattend.
TylerKingkade,BarnardCollegeJoinsListOf94CollegesUnderTitleIXInvestigations,
HuffingtonPost
,January1,2015.
1

WeproposearadicalchangeinhowCarnegieMellonUniversitydealswithcasesof
sexualassaultandsexualviolenceachangethatisvitaltoitsstudentshealthandwellbeing
andcriticaltoupholding(andenhancing)CarnegieMellonsreputation.Ourproposaldemands
athreeprongedapproachtohowweaddresssexualassaultatCarnegieMellon:firstandmost
centrally,punishmentand,additionally,educationandtransparency.
Ourmainproposalisthatwemusttakeanewhardlineapproachtosexualassaultby
creatingapolicyofmandatoryexpulsionforallstudentsfoundguiltyofsexualassault,as
definedbythestudenthandbook.Alongwiththischange,wedemandtwoothersupporting
policychanges.Thefirstisachangeinthewaytheissuesofandtheschoolpoliciesaround
sexualassaultandsexualharassmentaretaughtatCarnegieMellon,especiallyduringorientation
forthefreshmanclass.Weaskthatournewpolicybetaughtinamandatoryeventduring
orientationinwhichstudentsarerigorouslytaughtabouttheramificationsofsexualassaultat
ourUniversity.Thesecondsupportingpolicydemandsnewandmuchneededtransparencyin
sexualassaultcaseproceedingsoncampusbyreleasingthenumberofpunishmentsmetedout
forcasesofsexualviolenceandharassment.
Oneinfivewomenissexuallyassaultedincollege,andoneinfouratCMU.Yet,only
2
onepercentofattackersarepunished.
Thosenumbersareterrifying,yetthatisthenational
averageandwithouttransparencywecanonlyassumethatCMUsstatisticsarethesameasthe
nationalaverageatbest.Webelievethatourpolicychangewillbothdecreasethenumberof
peopleassaultedandincreasethenumberofpeoplepunishedfortheiractions.CarnegieMellon
hasundergoneagreatnumberofchangesinitssexualassaultandsexualharassmentpolicy
becauseoftheirTitleIXinvestigation,yetwebelievethesechangesdonotgofarenoughto
protectitsstudents..Whileworthy,manyofthesechangesareaboutcreatingabettersystemto
reportcasesandabettersupportsystemforthesurvivorsofthissexualviolence,butdonotget
totheheartoftherapeproblematcollegecampuses.Itisnotenoughtosimplysupportthose
CarnegieMellonstudentswhohavebeensexuallyassaulted.Weneedtotakeclearanddecisive
actionstoactivelypreventtheassaultsfromhappeninginthefirstplace.Ensuringstrong,
consistent,andclearlydefinedconsequencesforsexualassaultperpetratorswillactasa
significantdeterrentforpeoplethatmightengageinsuchterribleactions.
Althoughtheuniversitywillemployastrictnotolerancepolicyforsexualassault,itwill
willremainthesurvivorsdecisiontopursuearesolutionthroughtheuniversitydisciplinary
committee.Asurvivormaychoosetoreportandseeksupportwithoutgoingthroughthe
investigationprocess.Butifthesurvivordoeschoosetoseekaresolution,theywillbeginthe
processknowingthatiftheperpetratorisfoundresponsibletherewillbedefiniteconsequences.
Althougheducationisimportantforcreatingamoreacceptingandopenenvironmentfor
survivors,mandatededucationhasprovenineffectiveindeterringstudentsfromcommitting
sexuallyassault.
Educationandtransparencywillfurthersupportthepositiveimpactofofourpolicy.
Educationaboutourpolicyisextremelyimportantbecauseinclarifyingandreinforcingthe
consequencesforsexualassault,studentswillbeincentedtonotrape,preventingsexualassault
beforeitevergetstocaseproceedings.Wecannotseetherapistasashadowy,evilfigurethat
hidesinbushesandabductswomenbecausethetypicalrapistisnot.Thetypicalrapistisusually
DaveGilson,1in5WomenIsSexuallyAssaultedinCollege.Just1PercentofAttackersAre
Punished.|MotherJones,
MotherJones
,December3,2014.
2

anacquaintance,afriend,apartnerwhotakesadvantageoftheirclosenesstohurtsomeoneelse.
Thetypicalrapistcouldbeanyone.Rapedoesnotjusthappenbecauserapehappens,ithappens
becausewedonoteducatepeopleonwhatexactlyrapeisandcanentailandhowtonotdoit.
Wewanttheincomingfreshmanclassestobetaughtaboutitinawaythatunderscoresits
importance,seekingtoeducatewhileremindingeveryoneoftheseriousconsequencesofit
throughouttherequiredorientationevent.Weknowthathealthysexualdynamicscannotbe
taughtinatwohourperiod.Butbyinstillingfearinpotentialperpetrators,wecanmotivatethem
tolearnaboutsexualassaultfortheirselfinterest.
Transparencyisthefinalsteptoourpolicy.Bymakingtheresolutionsonsexualassault
casespublic(whilestillwithholdingthenamesoftheindividualsinvolved),thewholeCMU
communityincludingthestudentbodyandactivistorganizationscanholdCarnegieMellon
accountableforitsconductsothatthelackofaccountabilityandproactivitywhichledtothe
federalinvestigationinthefirstplace,andwhichisultimatelydangeroustostudents,cannot
flourishagain.Afterthegreatnumberofuniversitiesthathaveundergonefederalinvestigations,
peoplehavelostfaithintheuniversitysystemandtheonlywaytorepairthatfaithisforthe
universitytobeopenaboutitspastfailuresandshowitsprogressastheschoolmakesit.Only
thencanCarnegieMellongetthetrustitwantsfromitsstudentbody.Studentsshouldknowthat
theschoolisdoingallitcantoprotectthestudentsfromharm,evenifthatharmisfromother
students.
Throughoutthispaper,wewillfurtherdelineatethereasonsforthispolicychange.We
findthesereasonsfromhistoryandfeministtheorytostatisticalstudiesandsurvivortestimony.
CarnegieMellonshouldnotbesatisfiedwithitsstatisticswhichareabovetheaverageofsexual
assaultinthiscountry.Justasincomputerscienceorengineering,weshouldbeonthecutting
edgeofinnovationtoeliminatesexualassaultsonitsstudentsbyitsstudents.Wewanttochange
thewayrapeisseenbytheschooladministrationandthestudentbody,asnotjustsomethingthat
happensoncollegecampusbutsomethingthatCarnegieMellontakesprideinactivelyfighting.

Background

Ourcultureisindividualistic.Individualismonprincipleandasageneralcultural
tendencyisnotnecessarilyanegativetrait.However,whendealingwithsocialepidemicssuch
asdomestic,sexual,andraceviolence,anindividualisticinsteadofsystemicunderstandingof
problemsolvingisdestructiveandineffectual.Theindividualapproachtoviolence,specifically
sexualviolence,contributestorapeculturebyplacingtheonusofresponsibilityonthepotential
victimsofviolence,nottheperpetratorsorthesociallyinfluentialforcesthatsubliminallyor
blatantlycondonesexualviolence.Whilenationalrhetoricandinstitutionsareslowlybeginning
tocondemnvictimblamingpolicyandpractices,theinsidiousfocusonindividualinsteadof
systemicchangestillremainsprimarilyunchallenged.Thesexualassaultpoliciesofuniversities
needtoreflectamorenuancedunderstandingofthelimitsofindividualcontrolandtheseismic
sociallysystemiccausesthat,whilechallengingandoverwhelming,needtobecombatted.
Theindividualversussystemicapproachhasbeenextensivelydiscussedbyfeminist
theoristsandourculturalbiastowardstheindividualresponsibilityhasbeenidentifiedina
plethoraofsocial,cultural,andmedicalexamples.AsAudreLordearticulatesinBreastCancer:
Powerversus.Prosthesis,selfexaminations(theepitomeoftheindividualbeingexpectedto
takecontrolandprotectthemselves)doreducethemortalityrateduetotheincreased

chancesofearlydetectiondetectionbytheindividualhowever,breastselfexamination
3
doesnotreducetheincidenceofbreastcancer.
Thecauseofbreastcancerisasystemicissue
(environmental)theindividualhaslittletonocontrolover.Breastcancerprevention
campaignsareheavilyfocusedonwhattheindividualcandotoprotectone'sself,however,the
individualinactualityhaslittlecontroloverhavingcancerornot.Anotherexampleofthe
systemicversusindividualapproachisinBreastCancer:TheEnvironmentalConnectionby
RitaArdittiandTatianaSchreiber.Theauthorspresenttheindividualversussystemicapproach
inanarticlediscoursingbreastcancer,however,theculturalrhetoricthatappearsinsexual
assaultpreventiondialogueisundeniablypresent.Whilepeoplewithcancershouldbe
encouragednottofallintovictimrolesandtodoeverythingpossibletostrengthentheirimmune
systems(ourprimarylineofdefenseagainstcancer),itseemsthatthesociopoliticaland
economicdimensionsofcancerhavebeenpushedcompletelyoutofthepicture.'Blamingthe
victim'isaconvenientwaytoavoidlookingatthelargerenvironmentalandsocialissuesthat
formindividualexperiencesArdittiandSchreiberexplainthisconflictinawaythatparallels
4
thesystemicversusindividualconflictacrossmanysocialepidemics.
Partnerviolenceisanothersocialepidemicthatissusceptibletoindividualinplaceof
systemicanswers.Thisindividualapproachplacesresponsibilitywiththesurvivorandthus
deterioratesquicklyintovictimblaming.AsBethE.RichieandValliKahunawriteinBattered
WomenofColorinthePublicHealthcareSystems:Racism,Sexism,andViolence:

formany
yearstherewasatendencyforbothhumanserviceprovidersandpublicpolicyresearchtofocus
ontheindividuallivesofwomen,children,andmenwhoaredamagedorlostduetodomestic
violence.Thisnarrowfocusonindividualvictimsandperpetratorsinvolvedindomesticviolence
ratherthanonanexaminationoftherolesocialinstitutionsplayinthemaintenanceofviolence
5
againstwomenrepresentsoneofthemajorgapsinouranalysisofthispervasivesocialissue.
Ifoneispayingattentiononecanspotvictimblamingandtheindividualinsteadofsystemic
approacheverywhere:itisinthetweetssayingthatTamirRiceshouldhaveknownbetterthento
carryatoygun,intheuniversitypoliceaskingtheyoungwomanofMyUniversityHasFailed
6
Meletterwhyshehadbeenintherelationshipif[she]wasbeingsobadlyabused,
anditisin
theonslaughtofdon'tsdon'twalkaloneatnight,don'tdrinktoomuch,don'ttrustthepolice,
don'tleaveyourdrinkunattended,andonandon.Theindividualisticapproachtofixingthe
epidemicofsexualassaultinourcountryoperatesontheassumptionthatrapewillalwaysoccur
andthattheexistenceofcertainpopulations,i.e.perpetrators,isaconstantandthusthe
individualmustberesponsiblefortheirbehaviorandsafety.Whileundeniablyindividuals
AudreLorde,BreastCancer:Powerversus.Prosthesis,
Women'sHealth:ReadingsonSocial,
th
Economic,andPoliticalIssues,
5
ed.,NancyWorcesterandMarianneWhatleyed.,(2009),
661.
4
RitaArdittiandTatianaSchreiber,BreastCancer:TheEnvironmentalConnection,
Women's
th
Health:ReadingsonSocial,Economic,andPoliticalIssues,
5
ed.,NancyWorcesterand
MarianneWhatleyed.,(2009),666.
5
BethE.RichieandValliKahuna,BatteredWomenofColorinthePublicHealthcareSystems:
Racism,Sexism,andViolence,
Women'sHealth:ReadingsonSocial,Economic,andPolitical
th
Issues,
5
ed.,NancyWorcesterandMarianneWhatleyed.,(2009),341.
6

By"Gabrielle"(Pseudonym),
MyUniversityHasFailedMe,
th
https://www.aclu.org/blog/myuniversityhasfailedme
,Dec.13
2013.
3

targetedbysexualassaultshoulddoeverythingtheyseefittoremainsafeandnotbecomea
statistic,placingtheresponsibilityonthepopulationthatarethesurvivorsandpotentialvictims
createsavictimblaming,slutshamingrapeculture.
Sexualterrorismisanotherrealitytotakeintoaccountwhencreatingpolicyand
attemptingtochangeauniversityculture.Sexualterrorismisveryrealandhasaveryrealimpact
onsexorgenderminorities(primarilywomen,LGBQindividuals,andTransgender
individuals).TheauthorofSexualTerrorism,CaroleJ.Sheffield,definessexualterrorismas
violencesuchasrape,incest,battery,harassment,andallformsofsexualviolencethatcreatea
system[ofviolence]thatbywhichfrightensand,byfrightening,control[s]anddominate[s]
7
females.
Whiletheexistenceofsexualterrorisminourcultureingeneralisappalling,the
presenceofsexualterrorisminlearningenvironmentsisparticularlyegregious.Sexualterrorism
oncampusesandinlearningenvironmentsinevitablyhasanegativeimpactonlearning,
creativity,andgrowth.Sexualterrorismsmothersstudentsandneedstobeaggressively
combattedoncampuses.Sexualterrorisminauniversitysettingdisadvantagesalargebodyof
studentsthatalreadyfacediscriminationandsexualterrorismoffcampus,studentsthatdeserve
theinsulatingexperiencethatacollegepromisesitsstudents.Ifthereisanyplaceindividuals
shouldhavesafetyandspacetogrowwithouttheprejudicedconstraintsoftheworlditshouldbe
inaneducationalenvironment.
Sexualterrorismandtheindividualapproachinsteadofthesystemicapproachispresent
oncollegecampusesandintheirpolicyacrossthecountry.Thefocusontheindividualandnot
thesystemicisoftenwhatleadstovictimblamingandvictimblamingpolicy.Evenwhen
individualdriven,notsystemicdrivenpolicies,arenotexplicitlyvictimblamingtheyarestill
imperfectwithoutasystemicapproach.Sexualassaultpoliciesthatfocusondetection,
education,andsurvivorsupportareundeniablyimportantbutalsoinherentlyincomplete.
Preventativepoliciesarenecessaryaspectsoftheequationespeciallypreventativepolicies
targetingpotentialperpetratorshowever,theycannotcompriseauniversity'sentiresexual
assaultpolicy.Punitivemeasuresandclearlyoutlinedconsequencesarenecessaryincreating
balancedpolicy.Universitiesneedtomoreactivelycombatsexualassault,sexualviolence,
sexuallyviolentculture(I.e.Rapeculture),andsexualterrorismtofulfilltheidealsmanyof
thesehighereducationinstitutionshaveoutlinedforthemselves.
Acomprehensiveapproachtosexualassaultpreventionandcorrectioniswhatisneeded
oncollegecampuses.Athreeprongedapproachisneeded.Policythatincludesperpetrator
prevention/punishment,education,andsurvivorsupport.Perpetratorpreventionandpunishment
isoftenleftout,thuswarrantingtheeducationandsurvivorsupportlesseffective.Sexual
violencemusthaveconsequencesandclearpunitiveactionforauniversitytocreateazero
toleranceculture.Additionallytransparencyregardingpunitiveactionsandthepunitiveprocess
isalsooftenmissing.Withoutuniversitytransparencythepoliciesareempty.Studentsacrossthe
countryhavegoodreasonnottotrusttheiruniversity'swordwhenitcomestotheaccuracyof
policy,accountability,andeffectiveness.
CarnegieMellonUniversityisclearlynotexemptfromthecriticismsabove.My
UniversityhasFailedMeandtheTitleIXinvestigationsuggeststhatCMUisnottheexception
totheseculturaltendenciesregardingsexualassaultbutoneofthecrowddespiteour
CaroleJ.Sheffield,SexualTerrorism,
Women'sHealth:ReadingsonSocial,Economic,and
th
PoliticalIssues,
5
ed.,NancyWorcesterandMarianneWhatleyed.,(2009),358.
7

prestigiousstandingandliberalreputation.WhileCMUpolicyhasnodoubtimprovedandthe
programming,education,andsurvivorandcommunitysupportJessKleinhascreatedistruly
exceptional,CarnegieMellonisstillmissinganecessaryfacetofsexualassaultpreventionand
correction:consequences.Theuniversitycaninsistittakessexualassaultseriouslyandcan
articulateinitspolicythatperpetratorsfaceconsequenceshowever,withouttransparencyand
theaccompanyingaccountabilityoftransparencyandreliable,clearlyoutlinedpunitiveactions
universitystudentshavelittlereasontotrusttheuniversity,trustthatthecampusissafe,ortrust
thattheuniversityprotectsthestudentbodyfromserialoffenders.Astheyoungwomanwhoisa
recentCMUAlumwroteinheropenletterMyUniversityHasFailedMe(publishedin2013):
thecampushearingtookplaceduringthespringofmysophomoreyear,andafterthemost
harrowingfourandahalfhoursofmylife,theboardfoundherguiltyofsexualassault.Her([the
perpetratorofsexualviolence,stalking,andintimidation]consequences,however,werenot
expulsionorsuspension,oranythingelsethatwouldensuremysafety,butratherareviewofthe
preexisting'NoContactAgreement'andacounselingassessmentforher.IfeltlesssafethanI
hadbeforebeginningtheprocess.Thiswoman'sexperienceatCMUclearlyindicatesaneedfor
change.Whileminimizingthefightforbetterpolicybeforenowandthewonderfulworksome
verydedicatedindividualshavedoneisdisrespectfulouruniversityhasroomforimprovement.
Policythatlackstransparency,accountability,andconsequencesisfarfromideal.

HowDoesCarnegieMellonStackUp?

Contrarytotheadministration'srhetoric,CarnegieMellonUniversityisnotimmuneto
theendemicrapecrisisthatpermeatescollegecampusesacrossthecountryandisinfact
statisticallyworsethantheaverageschoolsacrossAmerica.AscitedinCarnegieMellons
SexualAssaultandRelationshipViolencestudy,anaverageofoneinfivewomeninthe
8
U.S.reportedacompletedsexualassaultsinceenteringcollege.
Althoughtwentypercent
continuestobereportedasthenationalaveragerateofsexualassaultforundergraduatewomen,
twentysixpercentofCarnegieMellonundergraduatewomenreportedbeingsexualassaulted
9
sincetheyenrolledatCMU.
DespiteCarnegieMellonundergraduatewomenhavingaonein
fourchanceofbeingsexuallyassaultedversusthenationaloneinfiveaverage,theSARVstudy
claimedtheratesofsexualassaultoncampusweresimilarwiththatofthenationalaverage.
SincetheyenrolledatCMU,undergraduatewomenhaveexperiencedsexualassaultatrates
10
similartowhathasbeenreportedinthemediaforundergraduatewomen.
CarnegieMellon
womenareinsignificantlymoredangerofbeingsexualassaultedthanstudentsatothercolleges
anduniversitiesacrossthecountrybyanadditionalthirtythreepercent,anddespiteshowingthe
numberstosupportthis,itappearsthatCMUdeliberatelypublishedmisleadinggeneralizations
inordertodistractfromtheirfailingsasaninstitution.Butitisnotjustundergraduatewomenat
CarnegieMellonwhoareinmoredangerofbeingsexualassaultedthantheaveragecollege
student.Ninepercentofundergraduatemenreportedexperiencingsexualassaultsinceenrolling
11
12
atCMU. However,thenationalaverageforundergraduatemenisclosertosixpercent.
The
SexualAssaultandRelationshipViolenceStudy,
CarnegieMellonUniversity
,(2015).
SexualAssaultandRelationshipViolenceStudy.
10
Ibid.
11
Ibid.
8
9

ratesofundergraduatemenwhoreportedsexualassaultsaresignificantlyhigherthatofthe
nationalaveragebynearlyfiftypercent,butinsteadofcomparingtheratesofsexualassaultat
CMUwiththenationalaverageastheydidwiththeundergraduatewomen,theadministration
neglectedtorevealhowtheundergraduatemencompareatall.JanelSutkus,theDirectorof
InstitutionalResearchandAnalysisatCarnegieMellon,onlycomparessexualassaultratesat
CMUwiththenationalaveragewhenthecomparisonworksintheschoolsfavor.Witha
reported438sexualassaultandrapesurvivorsoncampus,thecurrentsystemtocombatrapeat
13
CarnegieMellonhasprovenaresoundingfailure.
Ifnothingchangesinthewayweworkto
preventrapeinuniversities,morethan100,000collegestudentswillbesexuallyassaultedinthe
14
upcomingschoolyear.
CarnegieMellonmustcometotermswiththeirculpabilityinallowing
hundredsofrapiststogounpunishedeveryyear.Withoutacknowledgingthatwearepartofthe
problem,wecannotstarttochangetheschoolforthebetter.
ThepolicyCarnegieMellonhasadoptedtocombatsexualassaultandrapeisbothcase
15
bycaseandconfidential.
Thismeansifastudentisfoundguiltyofmultiplerapesand
sexualassaults,thereisnoguaranteethestudentwillbeexpelledorfaceanysortofpunitive
action.Acasebycasepolicyisdesignedallowforanuancedapproachtoeachcase,butitalso
opensupforpersonalbiastocloudthehearingtheprocess.BecauseofCarnegieMellons
confidentialpolicy,iftheadministrationweretoallowastudentfoundguiltyofmultipleviolent
rapestocontinuetostudywithintheinstitution,thereisnowaystudentbodywouldknow.The
systemreliesonasurvivorsblindtrustinanadministration.ThesystemallowsCarnegieMellon
tohaveallthepowerbutwithnoaccountability.
Formanysurvivors,thetrustGinaCasalegnoasksthestudentbodytoplaceinherhands
hasbeencalledintoquestion.Inthelastfouryears,moreandmoresurvivorshavespokenout
aboutthecorruptionintheUniversityStudentCommunityStandardsProcessandstartedto
breaktheconeofconfidentialitytheCarnegieMellonadministrationhidesbehind.In2013,
GabrielleafemaleundergraduatestudentfiledaTitleIXcomplaintthroughtheACLU.Inher
complaint,shedescribesindetailrepeatedTitleIXviolationsenactedbythemembersofthe
USCSP,aswellasaclearcaseofastudentbeingfoundguiltyofrapeandyetfacinglittletono
punitiveaction.InthestateofPennsylvania,thecrimeGabriellesrapistwasfoundguiltyof
wouldbeconsideredafirstdegreefelony.Inacourtoflaw,iffoundguilty,therapistwouldface
toupto20yearsinprison,a$100,000fine,aswellasamandatoryregistrationasasexoffender.
ButCarnegieMellon,likealmosteveryuniversityacrossthecountry,continuallychoosesto
toleratesexualassaultandshyawayfromexpulsionasapunishmentforrapistsinorderto
protecttheirownselfinterestsoverthatofthesurvivors.AtStanfordUniversity,from1996to
2013,therewere259reportedsexualassaultsandonlyoneexpulsion,atDartmouthCollege,
from2002to2013therewere155reportedsexualassaultswithonly3expulsions,andat
HarvardUniversityfrom20092013,therewere135reportedsexualassaultswith0expulsions
16
and10suspensions.
GabriellesstoryisaclearexampleofhowCMUscasebycasepolicyhas
NationalSexualViolenceResourceCenter,Info&StatsforJournalists,(2015).
SexualAssaultandRelationshipViolenceStudy,
CarnegieMellonUniversity,
(2015).
14
Ibid.
15
JessKlein,CoordinatorofGenderProgramsandSexualViolencePrevention,
GuestSpeaker,
CarnegieMellonUniversity
.
16

TheHuntingGround
.DirectedbyKirbyDick.TheWeinsteinCompany,2015.Film.
12
13

thepotentialforabuse.Evenifthecurrentcommunitystandardsboardisasunbiasedandjudicial
astheyclaim,CMUspolicydoesnotensureahearingfreefromcorruptioninthelongrun.Our
policywouldensureajustunbiasedresolutionforeverysurvivorofsexualassaultnomatterwho
isappointedtothecommunitystandardsboard.
CarnegieMellonsconfidentialpolicy,allowsthemtowithholdtheirstatisticsandprotect
theirreputationwithoutgivinganyinformationtostudentsorsurvivorsonhowcasesaretreated.
Wedontknowhowmanystudentshavefaceddisciplinaryactionduetosexualassault,because
CarnegieMellonrefusestoprovidetransparency.In2013,thefraternityBetaThetaPiwas
suspendedoverallegedvideosandpicturesofasexualnaturebeingtakeninsidethechapter
facilityoftheBetaThetaPifraternitybycertainmembersoftheorganizationandsharedby
17
emailwithothermembers[ofthefraternity].
Inapressreleaseontheschoolswebsite,the
universitystated,CMUstoppriorityisthesafety,security,andwellbeingofourcommunity.
CarnegieMellondoesnotcondonenortolerateviolationsofuniversitycommunitystandardsor
thelaw.Theuniversitystatesthatitwillpursueinternaldisciplinaryactionsagainstthe
fraternityanditsmembersiftheyarefoundtohaveviolatedtheuniversityscommunity
standards.Theuniversityalsointendstoreferanyevidenceofcriminalwrongdoingtolaw
18
enforcementofficials.
Despiteopenlydiscussingthecasewiththeentirestudentbody,whenit
cametorevealingtheresultsoftheinvestigationagainstBetaThetaPiandwhatdisciplinary
actionsweretaken,theschoolwentsilent.SeveralTartanarticleswerereleasedsubsequently,
demandinganswersforthestudentbody,butweremetwithnoresponse.GinaCasalegnoisable
tobreakherruleofconfidentialitywhenitcomestorevealingtheproblem,howeverwhenit
comestohowtheschoolwilldealwithit,shegoessilentoncemore.Studentshavearightto
knowtheresultsofsexualassaultinvestigations.Withdozensofstudentsaccusedofacrimethat
canleadtouptosixyearsinjail,iffoundguiltyandallowedtoremaininourcommunity,these
perpetratorswouldendangerthelivesofeverystudent,staff,andfacultymemberoncampus.
Thedangertheschoolcontinuallychoosestotoleratewasfinallybroughttonational
attentiononMay1stof2014.TheU.S.DepartmentofEducation'sOfficeforCivilRights(OCR)
releasedalistofthehighereducationinstitutionsunderinvestigationforpossibleviolationsof
federallawoverthehandlingofsexualviolenceandharassmentcomplaints.CarnegieMellon
19
Universityalongwith54otheruniversitieswereonthelist.
Thedegreetowhichcollegesand
universitiessidewithaggressorsisastounding.Butthesepatternsarenotduetomaliciousnessor
ignorance.Universitieshavealargefinancialincentivetosidewithaggressors.Asidefromthe
lossintuitionfunds,expellingastudentlowerstheschoolsoverallgraduationretentionrate,and
canhurtthereputationofthestudentbodyasawhole.Expellingastudentforrapealsorunsthe
riskofalawsuitfromtheperpetrator.Statisticallyperpetratorsarefarmorelikelytofilea
lawsuitagainsttheiruniversitiesthanasurvivorwould,puttingafinancialbiasonprotectingthe
perpetrator'seducationoverthesurvivorsmentalandphysicalwellbeing.EventheASCA

JacksonLane,"BetaThetaPiSuspendedoverSexuallyExplicitRecordings,"
TheTartan
,June
132013.
18
JacksonLane,"BetaThetaPiSuspendedoverSexuallyExplicitRecordings.
19
"U.S.DepartmentofEducationReleasesListofHigherEducationInstitutionswithOpenTitle
IXSexualViolenceInvestigations."U.S.DepartmentofEducation.May1,2014.
17

encouragesuniversitiestotreatrapetrialsaseducationalandnotpunitive,aperverselineof
thinkingwearehopingtochangestartingwithCarnegieMellon.20

Conclusion
OurgroupdemandsapolicychangeatCarnegieMellonUniversitysothatsexualassault
canbetakenastheseriouscrimeitis.AtCarnegieMellon,bytheirsenioryearoveroneinthree
undergraduatewomen,higherthanthenationalaverage,arelikelytoexperiencesexualassault
whiletheyattenduniversity.21 WeagreewholeheartedlywithUniversityPresidentSubraSuresh
whenhesaysthattheseresultsareunacceptable22 .Womenandmenfaceanenvironmentof
fearbecauseofboththeirpeersandtheirinstitutionandthusareunabletolearntothefullextent
oftheircapabilities.Studentshealthandhappinessarehinderedtoanunfairdegreebecauseof
thisrapeculture.Wecannolongertoleraterapeorsexualassaultwithinourcommunity.
Throughanewpolicyofmandatoryexpulsionforthosefoundguiltyofsexualassaulton
campus,wecanmakethecampusasaferplaceforstudentswantingtolearn.Withtheadditions
ofeducationandtransparencyfromtheschooladministration,wecanpreventsexualassaultson
campusbeforetheyoccur.
UniversitySexualAssaultDefinitionConfusion
Asitcurrentlystandstheuniversityhastwostateddefinitionsofsexualassault.Our
reformrefersto
thedefinitionintheDefinitionssectionoftheuniversitypolicy.Belowisthe
fulltextandalink.

http://www.cmu.edu/titleix/resourcesandinformation/sexualassault.html

Thisisthestandarddefinitionofsexualassaultusedbymanyuniversitiesacrossthecountry.

Kingkade,Tyler."FewerThanOneThirdOfCampusSexualAssaultCasesResultIn
Expulsion."
TheHuffingtonPost
.TheHuffingtonPost.com.Web.
21
SexualAssaultandRelationshipViolenceStudy,
CarnegieMellonUniversity,
(2015).
22

"CMUForumstoAddressTrendofCollegeSexAssaults."PittsburghPostGazette.
http://www.postgazette.com/news/education/2015/10/19/CMUbeginsforumstoaddresstrend
ofsexassaults/stories/201510190019.
20


10

TheconfusionliesinthefollowingsentencesinclusionintheUniversitypolicy:Sexualassault
includesbutisnotlimitedtorape,sexualbattery,sexualcoercion(theactofusingpressureor
forcetohavesexualcontactwithsomeonewhohasalreadyrefused),datingviolence,domestic
violenceandanyotheractofsexualviolence.
Thisdefinitionisnotstandardandnotwhatourpolicyrefersto.