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Tue Oct 29, 2013, 07:24 PM

In New York, Connecticut and Ohio, Students Demand an End to Gender Violence

1. At City College, a Surprise Shutdown Sparks an Uprising

On October 19, the City College of New York closed the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Center, a community and social justice space, replacing it with a career center and setting off major protests across campus. During the raid, college officials arrested an alum who sat-in and called council members and students to notify them. Meanwhile, they shut down all buildings on campus, barring students from studying in the library—flying in the face of direct action for 24/7 library access during midterms and finals week. On October 21 and 24, hundreds of students rallied to demand the immediate return of the center. This week, there will be a protest in front of the school’s administration building as college president Lisa Staiano-Coico meets with the undergraduate student government. Students will continue to protest until the center is re-opened.

—Alyssia Osorio

2. For Women and Queer People, the Shutdown Hits Home

The day before the Morales/Shakur Center was shut down, after months of organizing and lobbying by Students for Educational Rights, the City College of New York recognized the need for a gender identity protection in its anti-discrimination policy. The push started at the MSCC, where a range of groups focused on justice for women and queer people, including the Multicultural Gender Resource Center Campaign and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, held most of their programming. Due to the abrupt closure of the center, campaigns like these are threatened.

—Veronica Agard

3. Upstate, Racist Scrawls Bring Old Truths to Light

On the night of October 18, someone wrote on a whiteboard in SUNY–New Paltz’s DuBois Hall, “Emmett Till Deserved to Die.” Later, once it was erased, someone came back and wrote, “Don’t Erase the Truth.” Since then, black student leaders and student government representatives have met to formulate initiatives to promote a safer campus for students of color. Our resolutions include a racial diversity task force, similar to New Paltz’s LGBTQ task force, to address racial injustice; prioritizing people of color for new faculty and administrative hires; and explicit conversations about racial equality during freshmen and transfer orientations. We feel like this campus does not value our presence here, nor does it appreciate the role of people of color in broader society.

—Jordan Taylor

4. The IX Coalition at UConn

UConn’s IX Coalition is a non-university-affiliated, student-led campaign working to change campus culture and policy. The group was created in response to the Title IX complaint filed on October 21 to show solidarity for the filers. Since then, we’ve been chalking frequented spaces on campus, including the Celeron path, which is widely referred to as the “rape trail,” with statistics, sentiments and resources on sexual violence. On October 30, we will be hosting a speakout at Husky Solidarity Day to address the culture of violence on campus, its history and its connection to discrimination. While the image of victim-survivors has centered on white women and their experiences with sexual violence, racism, homophobia and other forms of oppression are just as toxic to student life.


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