Did You See These Signs Today?

Around noon today, campus activists papered the campus with flyers. They were on the steps of Olin, on the wall in front of PAC, on the railings in front of Zelnick Pavilion, and on the bulletin boards of Usdan.

Here they are on the steps of Olin:

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Here they are on the boards in Usdan:

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In case the photos are hard to read, here is what the posters say:

  1. 2-8% of rape accusations are false. Only 50% of alleged rapists are found guilty at Wesleyan. Demand a just adjudication system. Demand a safe Wesleyan.
  2. In the next two weeks, 100 Wesleyan frosh will experience sexual assault or harassment. Demand effective prevention. Demand a safe Wesleyan. (That information comes from a self-reported statistic gathered through the AlchoholEdu survey, previously covered here.)
  3. 2009–2012: 9 Wesleyan students were found responsible for sexual assault. 0 expelled. Demand just sanctions. Demand a safe Wesleyan. (That information comes from a recent Huffington Post article).

Then again, you may not have seen them. The posters were taken down promptly from each location soon after they were posted.

  • Lets look at the data

    Could you activists be any more misleading with your propaganda?

    In 2014 out of 23 reported incidents, 8 resulted in a campus hearing. Half of those hearings resulted in “responsible” findings by the admin, 3/4 of which led to suspension or dismissal from the University.

    In 2013 out of 17 reported incidents, 10 resulted in a campus hearing. Half of those hearings resulted in “responsible” findings by the admin, and 100% of those found responsible led to suspension or dismissal from the University.

    In 2012, 100% of reported incidents led to suspension or dismissal.

  • Frustrated Tour Guide

    I get it, guys, it’s activism and it’s about getting the word out to a lot of people. As someone who is equally active on the Wesleyan campus, I truly truly understand that sexual assault is an incredibly important and frustrating cause.

    I’m a tour guide for Admissions — sure, some people might be a little leery of what I have to say but it’s part of my work-study (even though it’s not work-study specific) and I do a lot of tours to make money to pay for my education.

    Frankly I’m a little disappointed everytime something like this happens on such a big event like Open House or Wesfest. Sure it’s one thing to display Wesleyan’s great minds and activism, but with inaccurate facts and crude tactics (visitors were getting slips of paper that said “I was raped” and getting yelled at in Usdan as well), it does nothing but scare away people who would actually enjoy the frankness of the discourse here. Also, these visitors turn their anger and frustration at us (the tour guides and admissions student worker), and not at the administration that needs to hear their voices.

    And damn it, guys, I just work here.

    For the people who put up the signs, I applaud your bravado but ask you to put your energy in another more productive avenue. Why not target the administration directly, instead of transient visitors who will do no more than at worst, cross off Wesleyan on their list and maybe harass the student workers who have to deal with them? Why not do something less ego centric and something more along the lines of helping sexual assault survivors and the environment that continues to shame them?

    • reality

      Because the administration doesn’t/won’t/hasn’t listened.

      • The Real Reality

        Because your tactics are as repulsive as they are counter-productive…

      • Pissed off anon.

        Because passing out a piece of paper with statistics and no context does nothing to help the cause. How about you take real action rather than deter potential students.

    • survivor

      why do you assume that the activists are not also sexual assault survivors? why do you not understand that some of us are survivors and this is our way of speaking and our way of rising above that “environment that continues to shame” us?

    • pre-frosh are not the problem

      The point of the activism was not to scare away pre-frosh. It was because the administration cares a lot about what visitors think so it’s a good way to hit them where it hurts. The activists were showing the administration that they will not keep silent about this issue, even to pre-frosh. These people were telling their stories, and no one should try to shut them down or hide them.

  • whyisthis

    I can’t ignore the irrelevant dates and inaccurate information. True, the administration needs to do a much better job of handling reports of sexual assault, but there have been new strides in the past few years to alleviate these struggles. The false stat about the amount of people getting expelled serves as a means to discourage people from even reporting their case for sexual assault. It is good that we have a voice, but right now it is just noise. The group that posted this info is the same group that wanted frats abolished in order to reduce sexual assault on this campus. Where do the true intentions lie within this group? Rather than asking who tore these signs down (it wasn’t the office of admission btw), I ask this: why were the signs put up other than to serve as a targeted and negative scare tactic to prospective students?I understand that Wesleyan students may want to attract pre-frosh who are interested in the salient problems on campus. I also understand that we are frustrated as a student body, but we need to find more accurate, relevant ways of passionately and creatively expressing our views and ideas about campus wide – moreover, national- problems

  • Alum

    Who specifically was responsible for removing the signs? Or was it just “the administration” in general? Whoever did it should be held accountable for silencing student activism and trying to erase the truth…

    • N

      I’m assuming it was admissions since this was done on an open house day with hundreds of prospective students and parents coming through on tours.

  • Facts

    From post on the Wesleyan Argus site:

    Ok, so let me cut through the bias and rhetoric here for a sec and look at the numbers. In 2009, there were 3 reports of sexual assault, all three were found guilty and were suspended or expelled. In 2014, 23 people have claimed sexual assault. Of that 23, only 8 of those claims was deemed worthy of a trial (around 34%). Of those 8, only 4 were found responsible and they faced either suspension or expulsion (and this is with only a 50% burden of proof). In 2013, 5 students were found guilty and expelled or suspended. So in 2009, 100% of reports were found to be true – 3 people received disciplinary action as a result. 5 in 2013, 4 in 2014. So what it looks like is a slight rise in reported assaults found to be true, but that may be a negligible difference of one or two. What we see is a large increase in reports that were dismissed or deemed lacking sufficient evidence. Where there were 0 false reports in 2009, there were 19 in 2014. That seems like the most important take away here. Why is this article insisting that there are more still unreported when so many of these reports this year seem to be false?

    • Wes15

      Just because something didn’t go to a hearing does not mean it was a false report. That’s quite the convenient leap in logic there.

  • Curious person

    Why were they taken down?

    • JustasCurious

      Can’t handle the truth?

      • alum

        I think it’s more “Why let activists scare off prospective students?” I hope the activists realize that by trying to take advantage of the open house for increased visibility, they only got the signs taken down faster. Who was the target audience here? Trying to pressure the administration into “taking more action?” Pissing them off isn’t the way to do it…

        • Anon15

          Persuading the administration in the past hasn’t really worked. Just look at the students who tried to come up with a sensible approach to Need Blind Admissions, they were ignored, and even the people who took a more radical approach and marched on campus in the fall of 2013 during the homecoming game were also ignored. Also the trans* trial where the administration tried to fine $5000 to 3 trans* students who had for at least a year talked to Dean Mike Whaley to have gender neutral bathrooms, well if their demands hadn’t been ignored they wouldn’t have risked to get suspended by taking down the bathroom signs. Also in terms of the custodian staff and how they have been abused and harassed by their supervisors, again Wesleyan activists went first with a moderate rout appealing to the administration who contracts the subcontracting company that hired these workers. What did the administration do, nothing. In fact it wasn’t until these workers marked in the summer of 2012 that the administration even considered listening to their demands. These are a few examples of how student activists in the past have tried to pressure the administration to take action at first with moderation and by trying to meet with them and late with direct action and by having their voices be directly heard by the people who will be donating money or thinking of sending their kids to wes. At this point it isn’t about pissing the administration off as much as it is about letting them know, as well as other people who seek to come to Wesleyan, what is happening and the fact that these issues haven’t been addressed in an appropriate way. If Wesleyan was doing it’s part of the job we wouldn’t be seeing these problems. It is clear that the administration is very separate from students and only wants money. It is really sad!

          • alum

            How about going to Roth’s office? Holding a sit in? The problem with taking it to people thinking of sending their kids to Wes is that all it does is send them away. They have limited ontact with the school and if they see the signs, all they will remember is the sexual assault stuff. Do we really want to be scaring away prospective students by giving them a disproportioned view of Wes? Yes, it’s an issue. But think of things from their perspective.

            The need blind stuff is a non-starter – the money just isn’t there (though that is changing). Agreed about the custodians. It’s not that the student body needs to shut up and take what they’re given, but making enemies with the administration (which is what you do with signs like this by admissions) is not productive. If all the admin wanted was money, the school would be run a lot differently (how about getting rid of the amazing financial aid? And it is amazing – maybe not compared to Amherst, but compared to most schools it is). Plus, with more money, better financial aid can be offered. Which is what Wes wants to begin with. The mindset of us vs. the administration is the wrong way to be going about things. I know it’s frustrating at times, but getting inpatient and forming an us vs. them mentality is counter productive.

      • ANON.

        The “truth” is that this is NOT just a Wesleyan problem. This is a college problem. Yes let’s give parent and potential students an awful view of Wesleyan. Let’s tell them rape is something that ONLY happens at Wesleyan. Let’s have students take Wesleyan off their lists with the idea that by avoiding Wesleyan means avoiding rape.

    • knowing person

      There was an admissions office open house and hundreds of visitors