Students rally against sexual assault in higher education
“This is an issue that has been present at universities for a very long time and will continue to be present”
More than 75 people gathered in the Metcalf Science Center Plaza Wednesday evening to rally against sexual assault in higher education.
Speakers at the rally said a typical short presentation on sexual assault in the workplace during orientation is not enough to deal with the real repercussions. The BU Graduate Workers Union, who organized the rally, wanted to tell Boston University that they will need to do more to protect their students from abusers.
Recently, BU Professor David Marchant, chair of the Earth and Environment Department, was found to be the subject of a major Title IX investigation. Female graduate students he worked with and other researchers have accused him of abuse and harassment.
Hannah Bloom, an undergraduate studying English and Cinema Studies at BU, helped bring the rally's attention to other undergrads at the university. She said the main reason for holding the rally was not just because of the recent Title IX investigation into BU Professor David Marchant.
"Our main message was to bring attention to the fact that sexual misconduct and assault is an issue not just at BU, but at all universities and is an issue that universities do not deal with adequately," said Bloom. "This is an issue that has been present at universities for a very long time and will continue to be present, and that demands collective action always.
"While the recent allegations did bring issues of sexual misconduct on campus into the news, this rally was intended to bring attention to the problem of sexual abuse and misconduct at all universities. There are many cases of misconduct at universities across the country every year and it seems to be an issue endemic to all higher education."