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UCSB Students Hold Sit-In

Standing up for their rights by sitting down- over 100 UCSB students crowded into an office in Cheadle hall Wednesday night demanding sexual violence reform. UCSB student Ro’Shawndra Earvin was one of the leaders of the protest; she says the university violated her rights after she says she was raped in Isla Vista in January. “Accountability is going to be held where our money goes – [sexual violence] is here,” she explained. For nearly nine hours students broadcast their sit-in on Facebook live. At 4-am UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang signed off on a list of 12 demands. One action some students say should have been included was demanding the university enacts tougher punishments for offenders “At fraternities, multiple [assaults] have been reported and maybe the school has like a little bit of repercussions for them a little bit of suspension but in the end, nothing is really being done,” says UCSB Sophomore Tori Leatherman. Her thoughts were echoed by UCSB student Carina Salaize who says someone she knows still has to interact with the person who assaulted her in Isla Vista. “They have to see them every day and they’re actually a member of their friend group and it’s really really hard for them to live their life because their trauma is constantly present,” Salaize tells us. Female students aren’t the only ones with these concerns, some male student want sexual violence reform as well. “It is a really big problem on our campus and I feel the administration should be doing more to address the issue,” says UCSB Sophomore Tom Steel.

These are the 12 demands the students put together for the campus as well as a set of demands for Ro’Shawndra Earvin (Courtesy: Daily Nexus)

1) Create and fund a Survivor Resource Center which must include and provide the following: a. A full-time Director who is responsible for the management of the Survivor Resource Center, along with staff that will be attentive and sensitive to student needs b. Survivor-specific legal services that will connect them to the correct resources and aid them through the legal processes of reporting c. Accurate statistical from the university and each police department with jurisdiction over Isla Vista and UCSB. This data will consist of information about reported sexual assaults, interpersonal violence, stalking, domestic violence, and other forms of gender-based violence on and off campus. This information must be provided and updated on a regular basis, both monthly and annually. This information must also be disseminated on campus, in Isla Vista, and throughout the greater Santa Barbara area. d. 5 student paid positions that will assist in day-to-day operations, as well as lead programming efforts to spread awareness among the student body and throughout the off campus community (Isla Vista) e. Assist and/or provide survivors with timely transportation to and from hospitals, campus departments, county offices, and other locations that the survivor need to attend. f. Coordinate all resources for survivors of sexual assault in their self care/healing process, including housing and counseling services, in a timely manner g. Provide trainings* for OSL organizations on campus, that include bystander intervention, cultural competency, as well as information on campus resources for survivors I. Trainings may include but are not limited to; Care Connect, Queer Connect, Title IX, Green Dot Bystander Training, Cultural Competency. 2) Counseling and Psychological Services must provide adequate and timely mental health services to survivors and their families, and coordinate with the Survivor Resource Center in order to enforce priority scheduling for timely intakes. 3) Update and sign Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between UCPD and Isla Vista Foot Patrol, as well as other local bodies of law enforcement, to include the following: a. Mandatory sensitive trainings on sexual assault/interpersonal violence which address race, gender, class, and sexuality b. Jurisdiction and protocol as to how cases are managed c. Investigation into previous and current mismanaged cases of sexual assault reporting by law enforcement officials 4) Work with UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College to develop a way for SBCC to be more transparent about students who have been disciplined for Title IX violations regarding current or former students, and work in conjunction in order to prosecute and process sexual assault cases that happen between students from both campuses. 5) Develop incentives for faculty and other academics to develop courses and conduct research studying the culture of rape in Isla Vista, such as research grants and support from the Academic Senate. 6) Work with the Isla Vista Community Services District to develop a report card for government institutions and law enforcement agencies, for behaviors and education surrounding rape and sexual assault in Isla Vista, including: Documenting how many incidences have occurred in Isla Vista Accounting how many community meetings and events have been held to promote education 7) Create a policy modification to Title IX Campus Implementation, which allows sexual assault survivors to transfer to a different educational institution if they desire. 8) Work with local government to fund increased lighting and improved infrastructure in Isla Vista, specifically on Slough Road, in order to make it a safer environment for residents. 9) Organize a meeting with all UC Chancellors on our UC Santa Barbara campus to develop system-wide level changes, reflecting the resources that are needed in every campus. 10) Add QueerConnect (a CARE Project) to reporting and trainings in order to make queer and trans* folks safe and their reporting process private in order to protect them. In any process be certain that queer and trans survivors’ correct pronouns are used in communication and in any and all paperwork regarding their assault. 11) Demand that UC President conduct yearly UC tours, where they will hold a public Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence Town Hall at every single UC campus once per year, in order to hold them publicly accountable and provide spaces for students to directly communicate demands and grievances to UCOP and to the UC-wide administration. 12) Demand that Chancellor Yang and his office continuously update students publicly about the progress being made on these demands. If adequate progress is not made or if this is not properly communicated to students, the university administration must make a donation to the Survivor Fund and to survivor-related resources on campus. We will develop a process to ensure that the following personal demands of Ro’Shawndra Aquilla Earvin are met: 1) Have tuition debt paid for in full. 2) Summer and Fall UC transfer 3) Access Resource Center in the future Agreed, in consultation with the Academic Senate.

A media representative for UCSB tells us: “We take concerns raised by our students extremely seriously and are grateful for our students’ courage in bringing such important matters to our attention. We particularly appreciated the opportunity to meet with them face to face in order to learn from their painful experiences and to effect change together. Their unwavering commitment to raising awareness and creating a safer environment for our entire UC Santa Barbara community resonates deeply with us. We share this commitment to the safety and well-being of our campus community.We had a thorough discussion and made good progress during our meeting Wednesday night, and we will continue our dialog and consultation as we actively seek to implement solutions regarding policies, procedures, and other effective improvements.”

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