Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The 2 page letter to the left and right of the page is from
the ever passionate Feminist Majority Foundation. The letter was sent to the taskforce recently to hold all of us accountable for not meeting in two months and for not following the strategy of the good-faith negotiations we had made in the beginning of the taskforce's journey. Below is the text of the letter.

March 9, 2009

Mr. Frederick P. Schaffer
Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
The City University of New York
535 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075

Dear Senior Vice Chancellor Schaffer and members of the Sexual Assault Policy Taskforce:

As a national campus organizer at the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), I was pleased to learn earlier this year of your commitment to establish a CUNY-wide, prevention-focused sexual assault policy by the end of the 2008-2009 academic year. Such a policy would demonstrate CUNY’s focus on its students’ rights and safety. I have been disheartened, however, to learn that the Sexual Assault Task Force has met only once since the beginning of the school year, and that it has ignored students’ calls for transparency and expediency.

FMF is a non-partisan, non-profit national organization dedicated to women's equality and empowerment. Our research and activism focus on advancing the legal, social and political equality of all people, regardless of gender, and training young feminists to be leaders of the feminist movement in the United States. We work closely with CUNY students through our campus program, and strongly support their call for a consistent sexual assault policy across the CUNY system.

We want to emphasize the importance of creating a policy as soon as possible, and of soliciting and incorporating input from the entire CUNY community. According to the proposal agreed upon in October, a policy was supposed to be drafted and available for public review by March 1. That deadline was seemingly ignored by the CUNY administration. Student input is crucial for this policy, as college students are at particular risk for experiencing a sexual assault. It is also vital that all students’ needs are being represented in the drafting process. Student members of the Sexual Assault Task Force have asked that a student from the LGBTQ community join them on the task force. That request has also been ignored.

A CUNY-wide sexual assault policy that focuses on prevention, education, and victim services would create a clear environment of zero tolerance toward sexual violence while simultaneously providing the education necessary to mitigate sexual offenses on and off-campus. A strong policy would focus on the well-being of the survivor, create an environment that streamlines the process for reporting and trying an assault, and enforce strict sanctions for offenders through campus judicial systems. Please give your students the sexual assault policy they deserve.

If you have any questions about our support for a CUNY-wide sexual assault policy or our organization, please contact me at (703) 522-2214. I look forward to the opportunity to read the draft of the policy when it is presented to each CUNY campus to solicit feedback from students, faculty and administrators. Thank you for your time and consideration, and please let me know if I can be of assistance in the implementation of a progressive policy that benefits all members of the CUNY community.

For equality,

Emily Kadar
National Campus Organizer
Feminist Majority Foundation

Cc: Ms. Jerin Alam
Ms. Vanessa Anderson
Ms. Sharon Atkins
Ms. Eija Ayravainen
Mr. William Barry
Ms. Kristen Bowes
Ms. Gilen Chan
Ms. Zora Flores-Kitongo
Ms. Elischia Fludd
Ms. Katie Gentile
Ms. Jessica Greenfield
Mr. Nicholas Kanellopoulos
Ms. Lisa Montgomery
Mr. Garrie W. Moore
Ms. Zina Richardson

Become involved! Email us at We currently have an immediate need for:

* Organizations and individuals to endorse our cause (willing to help with awareness campaigns)
* Organizations and individuals to join Students for a Greater CUNY as a member
* A tech-savvy person that is good with website building
* Skilled writers to chronicle CUNY's progress for the students on blogs and through campus media
* Student leaders or organizations that will facilitate setting up 3 town hall meetings alongside taskforce members within Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, so public opinions can be heard on the draft of the policy.

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