Fordham students rally against ‘culture of sexual violence’ on campus
Fordham University students gathered to protest Saturday what they say is a culture of sexual violence and a failure to protect the students at their school.
The protesters in Fordham Plaza say they've had enough of the university protecting men who are accused of sexual violence and that the school is systematically failing the people it should be protecting.
Organizers tell News 12 that the protest was inspired by two recent cases involving alumni who reported rapes. They claim that the university either covered it up or failed to fully investigate with no resulting punishment.
Protestors say that sort of behavior is in line with the culture and firsthand experiences they've seen themselves at the school, leaving victims of sexual violence feeling that they're not being believed and helped while the people who hurt them are protected.
Fordham responded to the claims, saying, "The premise is not true. Fordham University has robust and fair Title IX and sexual misconduct policies and procedures developed in compliance with relevant state and federal laws. Because the processes are confidential, the University cannot disclose the rationale for its findings in any given case. As an institution, Fordham must be directed by the law."
With signs, chanting and cheers, the demonstrators marched outside the campus, calling on Fordham to change its policies with a list of demands:
- Multiple options for a first point of contact in the Title IX office
- The creation of a dedicated office focused on reporting and healing for survivors of sexual violence
- Improvements in mental health and academic services offered by the school for survivors
Organizers tell News 12 that they will be bringing their petition of proposed changes and signatures to Fordham University administrators. Their next move will depend on the feedback they receive from school officials.