Title Mine releases demands for change
Movement proposes overarching Title IX changes, will hold rally April 26
Students plan to demand changes to the Title IX process in the Title Mine rally April 26 at 4 p.m. in Edison Courtyard.
According to student organizers, the movement to rally launched in response to op-eds about sexual assault and the Title IX reporting process published in Student Life and the three federal investigations into the Washington University Title IX process.
These students released their list of demands on Facebook and within an online petition, calling for “a more comprehensive, trauma-informed training program for all persons involved in the Title IX process,” “a stronger investment into the support of survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence at Wash. U.,” “more transparency in the execution of Title IX, along with the processes of all other relevant campus programs,” more staff to “expand current resources for survivors” and “accountability in the form of creating an Oversight Committee for the reporting process.”
A version of the full, detailed Title Mine demands can be accessed through the Title Mine Facebook page.
The rally will feature an open mic where students can share their experiences with sexual assault, intimate partner violence and the reporting process. Organizers also plan to read their list of demands aloud.
Following the event, an event-sponsored self-care space will be available for students in Danforth University Center Room 234. Student Health Services counselors and members of Uncle Joe’s will also be available in the DUC for student support.
Additionally, Campus Ministry groups have offered to provide resources for students the day of the Title Mine rally. Many campus ministers—who are not mandatory reporters at Washington University—are providing additional office hours before, during and after the rally. Other groups are providing safe spaces and self-care spaces for students. The Campus Ministry groups offering services and resources surrounding the rally include Catholic Student Center, Chabad, Coalition of Christian Outreach, Episcopal Campus Ministry, Hillel, Lutheran Campus Ministry and UKirk STL. A comprehensive list of what resources each group is offering can be accessed on the Title Mine Facebook page.
In response to the rally, Provost Holden Thorp released a faculty letter articulating his support of students organizing for Title Mine and encouraging faculty members “to be mindful of [students’] desire to participate.”
“We can’t force faculty to accommodate students, so what we did in our letter was point out that many students may want to go to the rally and we hope that most faculty—if they’re asked—would give students that opportunity,” Thorp said. “It’s the same thing we say about religious holidays. At a prestigious university like ours, the faculty get to make the rules about what goes on in their classroom, not administrators. And so all we can do is point out things we want them to consider. We hope that will be enough to make sure that everybody who wants to participate in this can do so.”
In response to Thorp’s letter, sophomore and Title Mine organizer Bex Smith expressed hope that Thorp and other administrators’ support of Title Mine will continue after the rally.
“I think [Thorp’s letter] is the school’s way of showing support now, but I think the big question is going to be: Are they going to show support on Friday? Or the day after the rally? Are they actually going to listen and implement those demands? Because it’s not enough to just say ‘we hear you,’ they need to actually do something about it,” Smith said.
Thorp has expressed that he looks forward to hearing students’ suggestions to improve the reporting process.
“It’s great that students are exercising their rights and having this rally, and I’m going to be there to listen and learn and hear some of things that I’ve been wanting to hear from students about how we can do better,” Thorp said. “We hear some things here and there, but we haven’t really heard something other than ‘doing the process better,’ which we concede that of course we can do. We can do it faster, and we can do it in a way that’s less traumatic for the people who are going through it. I’m happy to hear those things and we’ll continue to try to improve.”
Student organizers want to see the University show support by listening at the rally and implementing student demands.
“What they need to do is actually show us what they’re going to do, not just create more task forces. There are some more short-term items on the list, and seeing them fulfilled would be really nice,” organizer and freshman Anna Wilson said. “They need to have actual, concrete changes soon, or else we’re going to keep raising hell next semester.”
Organizer and freshman Candace Hayes hopes that the University will be willing to work closely with student organizers after the rally to implement the changes they demand.
“We are willing to meet them and sit down with them and work out any details that aren’t quite so clear just off of the demands at first glance, but we just want them to take us seriously and see the flaws in the system and actually start to work to change those flaws,” Hayes said.