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Trump Administration: Who are you here to serve?

Survivors of sexual violence want to


know

Authors listed below

Institutions have been failing survivors of sexual violence for decades. Years after students
across the country initiated a wave of activism to hold these very institutions accountable, we are
still being forced to ask the same question: Exactly who are they here to serve? The students, or
themselves?

As survivors of sexual violence, weve continually had to advocate for ourselves, often because
no one would advocate for us. We have been forced to ask this question again and again, of all
the institutions that are supposed to serve us: of our Title IX administrators, police officers,
schools, teachers, deans, and now, our government. This is not a philosophical or academic
question regarding the responsibilities of higher education administration. It drastically impacts
our and our peers lives and now we must pose it to the highest offices in the country.

Today, we 118 survivors of sexual assault, ask the Trump Administration and Secretary Betsy
DeVos: exactly who are you here to serve?

For us, this is personal, and traumatizing. From the moment we were raped or assaulted, the
question of who protects us has haunted us all. Collectively, we represent thousands of instances
of institutional failure at colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. We suffered immensely, as did
our academics, relationships, and overall well-being. Institutional betrayal forced many of us,
and countless others, to leave school.

We do not simply represent the failures of the very institutions that are supposed to help us, but
the need for strong and clear enforcement of Title IX.

After we shared our most painful personal stories loudly and clearly, the U.S. Department of
Education and the White House reminded universities of their responsibilities under Title IX.
The guidance, known as the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, was clear: universities have a legal
responsibility to protect their students from gender discrimination, rather than universities
protecting their own bottom line, often at the survivors expense. Accommodations and
protections clarified in the guidance enabled many of us to complete our education. It gave us
hope for the survivors who would come after us.

Our hope may have been premature. At every turn, Betsy DeVos has refused to commit to
enforcing Title IX. This reluctance is escalating into a full blown threat to future enforcement of
Title IX. The administration already egregiously overturned 2016 guidance that protected
transgender students from Title IX violations. Now, the administration has signaled that it is
seriously considering further dismantling protections for survivors of sexual violence by
weakening the oversight and enforcement mechanisms of the federal government
enforcement that many vulnerable students and survivors need.

We come forward with a simple request: Dont.

Today, we, 118 survivors of sexual assault write in a single unified voice, representing 25 states,
and all political parties and views, to demand that the Trump Administration commit to doing
more to serve survivors of sexual violence. Simply paying lip service to our need for safety on
campus will not suffice.

We implore the administration to maintain the status quo of all current Title IX guidance, policy,
Violence Against Women Act funding and programs: a status quo that has been created and
upheld by public servants and legal professionals on both sides of the aisle. We demand they
listen to the voices of students and survivors, rather than college lawyers and lobbyists, when
determining the best course of administrative action to keep all students safe in school. We
remind the Trump Administration that we, students and those who have suffered violence, are
those the Department of Education is directed to serve not college lawyers on a university
payroll.

Survivors simply want the protections to remain in schools that the federal government and
courts have institutionalized over the last two decades. We cannot imagine a more cruel or
misguided policy agenda than one that withdraws protections from vulnerable students
especially coming from the administration of a man who has been repeatedly accused of
committing sexual violence himself.

To Betsy Devos, President Trump and the rest of the Trump administration: Survivors of sexual
assault have refused to be silent since this administration began its journey to the White House.
We will not be silenced now.

And to survivors of sexual assault everywhere: We believe you. We support you. You are not
alone.

Jess Davidson, Colorado


Annie E. Clark, North Carolina
Anna Kim, New York
Britney Howard, Kentucky
Haley Smith, Indiana
Rachel Landau, New York
Anna Earley, North Carolina
Chardonnay Madkins, California
Emma Huffman, Indiana
Christine Fei, Maryland
Kirat Sandhu, Indiana
Danielle Bowman, Indiana
Jordan Dashow, Washington D.C.
Emily Santor, California
Meredith Tolleson, Colorado
Margot Mayer, New York
Olivia Storz, Colorado
Colleen Daly, Washington D.C
Shannon Saul, Colorado
Brittani Skyers-White, New York
Lily Nussbaum, Colorado
Kelly Davis, Pennsylvania
Maya Weinstein, Washington D.C.
Andrea Pino, Florida
Lupita Gonzalez, Minnesota
Meghan Hampsey, New York
Sofie Karasek, Massachusetts
Rebecca Krevat, New York
Alexandra Brodsky, Washington D.C.
Zoe Dorau, Washington D.C.
Meghan Warner, California
Maria Sauer, Wisconsin
Alicia Weigel, Texas
Faith Ferber, Illinois
Mahroh Jahangiri, Washington D.C.
Erin Bergen, Indiana
Bridgette Walling, California
Aliya Webermann, Maryland
Alyssa Peterson, Pennsylvania
Andrea Watson, Colorado
Dana Bolger, Missouri
Jacqueline Lin, California
Elena Maria Riecke, New York
Kristina Delgado, New York
Sophia Hermann, Texas
Ali Romero, Arizona
Amanda Ussak, New Jersey
IonaPearl Reid-Eaton, Massachusetts
Ciera Blehm, Colorado
Alicia Arman, California
Jasmin Enriquez, New York
Katya Palsi, New Jersey
Grace Sparapani, Texas
Jessica Zayas, New York
Chelsea Khamvong, California
Sejal Singh, Washington, D.C.
Mia Goldstein, Texas
RoShawndra Aquilla Earvin, California
Saakshi Suri, Maryland
Amy Gu, Texas
Sage Carson, Delaware
Devon Schlotterbeck, Colorado
Samantha Skaller, New York
Michele Arnett, Virginia
Brittney Westphal, Colorado
Fabiana Diaz, Michigan
Mallory Visser, New Jersey
Katrina Semich, Washington D.C.
James Landrith, Virginia
Julia Teti, Pennsylvania
Brenda Young, North Carolina
Amy M. Blanchette, Massachusetts
Laurie Elizabeth, New York
Robin Dusek, Illinois
Elizabeth Bell, Texas
Lacie Wooten-Holway, Washington D.C.
Patrick Holway, Washington D.C.
Marissa Blanchard, New York
Molly Giesen-Fields, California
Kayla Herpers, Minnesota
Melissa Skolnick, Pennsylvania
Veronica Portillo Heap, Illinois
Lara Bryant, Washington D.C.
Julia Dixon, Ohio
Chelsea Barbee, Texas
Monica Villagomez, Indiana
Angela Rose, Virginia
Kenda Woolfson, California
Edwith Theogene, Florida
Kelly Rach, Minnesota
Silvia Zenteno, Virginia
Venkayla Haynes, Georgia
Sarah Davies, New York
Aniqa Raihan, Washington D.C.
Anne Marie Walen, Washington
Margaret M Smith, Michigan
Delaney Henderson, California
Amy Stanley, Texas
Meilan Smith, New York
Paige Schoppmann, Vermont
Ellie Freeman, New York
William McChriston III, Georgia
Olivia Hinerfeld, Oregon
Kelli Smith, Washington D.C
Kathleen Krumbach, New York
Rachel Blum, Ohio
Natalie Delgado, California
Jaclyn Knaus, Pennsylvania
Olivia Duell, Wisconsin
Antonio Hernandez, Texas
Jocelyn Schur, Massachusetts
Megan Larson, California
Maggie Heckendorf, Colorado
Alexia Tillman, Illinois
Danielle Ciaurro, Washington, D.C.
Sheerin Siddique, Michigan
Gwen Lee, California
Irene Lazaro, Illinois