Target: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls
Goal: Right the wrongs perpetrated against University of North Carolina victims
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has seen several reported rape cases make the news because of how badly they were handled – the university protected the rapists rather than the victims. Previous assistant dean of students Melinda Manning has filed a formal complaint with the US Department of Education stating that she “was told by the University Counsel’s office that the number of sexual assault cases she compiled for 2010 was ‘too high’ before the total was decreased by three cases without her knowledge.”
Recently, when sophomore Landen Gambill came forward to the University Honor Court about a history of sexual abuse from an ex-boyfriend, instead of finding the justice she sought she was charged with intimidating the male student (for which she could have been expelled) despite the fact that she did not name him, and more importantly despite the months of sexual assault perpetrated by him. Furthermore, beyond penalizing Landen for reporting the assault and failing to submit her aggressor to an appropriate punishment, UNC Chapel Hill reassigned him to a dormitory near hers in retaliation.
By signing this petition, you will make it known to the Dean of Students and the Honor Court at UNC Chapel Hill and universities across the country that rape culture cannot be allowed to persist in our institutions of higher learning. We must put an end to this culture of victim blaming and violating the basic rights of victims who come forward and report their aggressors. We must show university administrators that victims of sexual assault must be protected and that rapists must be brought to justice.
Dear Dean Sauls,
The recent trend of underreporting sexual assault cases on campuses across the country is alarming and unacceptable. Twisting the statistics in this way not only creates a false sense of security for students who may be in danger, but also establishes a culture that blames victims for their own rape and discourages victims from coming forward with their stories and receiving help. The only way to begin changing rape culture on university campuses to a culture of respect and safety is to acknowledge that the problem exists and is extremely serious.
I am calling on you to begin building a healthy and safe campus for all students by publishing accurate statistics of reported rape cases at UNC Chapel Hill, and by establishing mandatory consent education programs and stricter, harsher penalties for rapists, as well as therapy programs for students and faculty who may suffer from sexual abuse. I am urging you to drop all charges against Landen Gambill and to pursue an appropriate punishment for the student who raped and abused her. These are the first steps in dismantling rape culture on university campuses, and creating safe spaces for everyone in American institutions of higher education.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Seth Ilys via Wikimedia Commons