Target: Jonathan Sauls, Dean of Students at UNC Chapel Hill.
Goal: Condemn UNC for violating the rights of sexual assault victims and demand a change in policy.
Three sexual abuse survivors and University of North Carolina alumni have filed complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights on behalf of themselves and 64 other victims, alleging that the university violated assault survivor’s rights. The complaint alleges that the university often took no action when assaults took place and sought to protect alleged rapists. Sign the petition to condemn UNC officials for their behavior and demand they change their policies to better protect victims.
Andrea Pino was one of the students who filed the complaint. After she was raped at an off-campus party by an unknown assailant, she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. When she applied for medical withdrawal, the UNC Academic Advising Office told her she was just “being lazy.” Another student named Landen Gambill went to the Dean of Students Office to file a complaint with the University Honor System about an abusive ex-boyfriend who was stalking her. When the Honor Trial occurred the students and faculty questioned her about why she hadn’t done anything to stop the abuse. Most disturbingly, the Honor Council Representative told Gambill’s parents, violating the Federal Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) that protects student’s personal records from non-consensual disclosure. He justified himself by saying that he thought “thought they should know.”
The behavior of UNC administrators toward sexual assault victims was so egregious that it prompted Associate Dean of Students Melissa Manning to resign. She recounted how she had often seen victims being blamed and asked inappropriate questions. She recalled how in one case, the university ruled that because the victim had consensual sex with the perpetrator in the past, there was no assault. Sign the petition to condemn UNC for violating the rights of sexual abuse survivors and demand they change their policies to respect victims’ rights.
Dear Dean Jonathan Sauls,
I am writing as a concerned citizen about the disturbing and horrifying behavior of UNC toward sexual abuse survivors. More than 60 sexual assault survivors have recounted incidents in which the university administration has behaved callously towards them. In many cases the university sought to protect the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault by blaming the victims. The is unacceptable for an institution of higher education.
A total of 67 victims have filed a complaint against UNC alleging the school has violated the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights, the Clery Act, FERPA and equal opportunity mandates under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These are extremely troubling allegations. UNC should be a safe space for all students that provide support for victims of sexual assault. Instead, the university joined the perpetrators in victimizing the survivors. The university must change its policies to respect the rights of sexual assault survivors.
I hope you take my thoughts under consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: UNC Official Site