In the wake of the recent events that have taken place on the College’s campus over the past few weeks, the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center (LWGRC) has been speaking with members of senior administration at Manhattan College to address said incidents, like the one in Overlook, and has hosted several meetings over the past few weeks. The LWGRC is committed to being a student-centered healing space for all. We would like to publicly announce our involvement in these conversations in order to ensure student voices are heard in this situation and beyond.
These meetings include open dialogue hosted strictly by students. Our partner, JustPeace conducted an administration-free meeting in the Center this past Tuesday to open the floor to student concerns and foster a pressure-free space for students to voice their stresses amongst each other. We, along with student leaders across campus, also met with members of administration including the Dean of Students, and the Chief Title IX coordinators, regarding the recent incidents in OV. We as a center have also started dialogue with the Counseling Center regarding trauma-informed counseling techniques that anyone can practice and publicizing their resources more broadly.
Since these meetings, the College has made an effort to further ensure student safety. This includes the replacement of the locks in OV; it also includes the increased Public Safety foot patrols on South Campus and Residence Halls during the day and evening shifts. The College has conducted a thorough security review of OV including, but not limited to, lighting inside and outside the building, security cameras and card access system. As a Center, we will push to find out the results of each of these new systems of security and when further security devices are to be implemented. Our goal is to be in the room where the decisions are being made.
In the meantime, Women’s Week has begun on campus. We will be hosting events like the Clothesline Project, which is a visual display dedicated to raising awareness about the reality of violence in our society. It is composed of t-shirts created by survivors of violence or in honor of someone who has experienced violence. The shirts will be hung on the Quad next Wednesday, March 11. This will be followed by Take Back the Night, an annual collegiate event in support of those who have experienced sexual violence of any kind and a call to prevent and end sexual violence. We will continue to host #MeToo Mondays, where we will be providing a supportive peer-led outlet through journaling and discussion for those who have faced sexual harassment, sexual assault, or intimate partner violence.
We are aware that many of you feel upset, anger and distrust towards the institution. We want you to know we are here for you, fighting for you at the front lines and we stand by you, Jaspers. If you need support, information, resources, or a friend over the next few weeks while information continues to unfold, visit the LWGRC (Kelly 3C).