Chelsea IrizarryFeb 28, 2018, 11:36 pmMar 1, 2018, 5:10 pm

Stony Brook University students march to support survivors of sexual assault

Demonstrators say college officials should reform how Title IX cases are handled


STONY BROOK — Stony Brook University students and faculty members marched together for the “Me Too” movement to protest the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. Around 300 students and staff members at Stony Brook University marched Wednesday afternoon in support of survivors.

“It is not okay for sexual violence or harassment to happen in our community on a large scale and on campus,” Stony Brook Complaint Navigator Samantha Winter said.

Rally organizer David Clark says Stony Brook has shown its commitment to women's rights and support of survivors, but thinks the university should be a leader in the he-for-she campus movement and push to reform how sexual misconduct cases are handled.

“We have some concerns about the new Title IX guidance from the Department of Education and want to make sure Stony Brook is doing more than the minimum,” Clark said.

The university already has several resources and educational programs available for victims, including counseling and psychological services. But students say they should allow a specialist in treating victims of sexual assault.

“I would like there would be someone specially trained to help with sexual assault survivors,” SBU student Claudia Zeurk said.

Students want more education when it comes to consent.

“Especially when they come in as freshman, yes means 'Yes' and no means 'No,'” SBU student Cara Behar said.

In response to the rally, Lee Bitsoi, the Chief Diversity Officer, said, "It was great to see so many SBU community members participate in the #MeToo rally today. It illustrates the level of engagement by our students around social justice and equity issues and challenges that all of us face in society. Our leadership team is inspired by the activism of student leaders and we collectively support them in their efforts."

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