Letter to the Editor – April 16

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Dear Editor,

In response to “Taiwan must embrace economic integration with China.”

As an international student from Taiwan, and from someone who lived there for the past ten years, I find this article appalling. The main focus of the protests has always been the lack of transparency from the Ma Administration. They were not against the agreement, rather they wished their government to analyze the trade proposal with a fine-toothed comb as opposed to rushing it. When that didn’t occur, the students rushed in and occupied the Legislative Yuan. While the fear of an economic takeover from the mainland is possible, there is also evidence of the PRC government slowly recognizing the ROC government. Recently, Foreign Ministers from both sides recognized each other’s titles, a historic moment for the ROC. The fact is, their economies are intertwined as it is. Much of Taiwan’s industry and exports come from factories built in China.

Nick Yeh

(First-year, Undeclared)

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Dear Editor,

Firstly, the alumni would like to thank President Veitch for agreeing to meet with us this Friday to work together to finalize a plan that will immediately fix the sexual assault problem at Occidental.We’d like to reiterate that there will be no other meetings.There is only one chance to collaborate.

This safety problem and multi-year struggle will end this month.

Secondly, to the survivors, we’d like to offer a long overdue apology on behalf of the Oxy community. What happened is inexcusable and we are sorry that you have suffered. We promise significant changes.

Thirdly, to the perpetrators: stop immediately. Occidental will no longer tolerate any sex crimes. Go to reparative therapy and alcohol abuse counseling before you go to prison for a very long time. Prison is what you deserve and prison is what you’ll get.

With all due respect Mr. Calkins, the alumni don’t want “searching conversations”. The alumni are here to end this problem now. Do you think Oxy is safe and all problems have been solved despite the 35 percent expulsion rate?Why do you think it’s acceptable to let 65 percent get away with sex crimes?

If people tried to choke dozens of Oxy students, it would be considered an urgent safety issue with immediate expulsion and police intervention, not months and years of conversation. There would be action.

Now is the time for action. A zero tolerance policy will be implemented at Oxy it is only a question of when and how far the school must fall before it makes safety priority No. 1.

To President Veitch, the administration, and Trustees, this safety problem needs to end this month so you can all move on. Oxy’s 35 percent expulsion rate is unacceptable; incremental improvement is not good enough.How many times is it okay to rape you?How many rapists can rape you and get away with it?Anything less than a 100 percent expulsion rate is unacceptable. If you’d like to say that you are a safe campus, then be a safe campus.

President Veitch, you can be a hero and make history by declaring Oxy the first Zero Tolerance campus or you can witness a fundraising disaster of epic proportions.It’s your choice.

On Friday we will collaborate with President Veitch and build upon all of the hard work of administration, the Trustees, and OSAC to create a comprehensive solution.The President will proudly present it at the Trustee Board meeting this month and will officially announce it on April 30, the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There will be a simple and clear message before the graduation parties start: sexual assault will not be tolerated on or off campus not now, not ever.

Oxy’s Zero Tolerance policy toward rape and sexual assault is outlined online here.

Oxy’s Zero Tolerance policy toward rape and sexual assault will include:

  • Expulsion for 100 percent of students those found to be guilty of rape or sexual assault AND full proactive cooperation with the police if the survivor chooses to press charges.
  • Implementation of OSAC’s 12 demands.Stop battling with them and start working together.All they want is student safety.If you cannot work with them effectively, transfer the entire safety issue to someone who can so that you can focus on fundraising.
  • Implementation of all of the Sexual Misconduct Advisory Board recommendations based on best practices from programs around the country.That it’s even called Sexual Misconduct is an insult.These are sex crimes. Refer to it as “Sex Crimes and Sexual Misconduct” not just “Sexual Misconduct”.
  • Changing your 60+ page policy to be one short page that every student must read.You can keep the legalese in an appendix.
  • Roll-out of a full-scale, effective, and mandatory prevention program that requires both clear verbal consent and bystander duty to alert authorities at the first opportunity.

In May 2014 we will create a new Safety Review Board by appointing people from the Board of Trustees as well as new alumni who will have 90 days to:

  • Review of every sanction that the survivors feel is not strong enough
  • Review of the performance of administrators who gave out weak sanctions or discouraged survivors from taking action and decide on a reasonable timeline for the dismissal for all who have underperformed. These violations will no longer be ignored.

On April 30, 2014, Occidental will either make history by declaring itself the first Zero Tolerance campus or the alumni cease contact and will escalate matters until a Zero Tolerance policy is in place. There will be no further collaboration.

Sexual assault will not be tolerated on or off campus not now, not ever.

This is your last chance.If we find that the school is unable / unwilling to declare Zero Tolerance by April 30, we will have no choice but to quickly escalate matters.

This is not a threat — this is a promise.We will not stop until this campus is safe.

The administration cannot win against a passionate leaderless pro-safety, anti-rapist alumni movement that is smart enough to keep all actions legal and has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

We will declare a three-year donation boycott and contact every major donor; protest in front of the homes and offices of Trustees, Governors, and administrators; wage a Twitter war that mentions every Trustee; blast an email to guidance counselors about the dangers at Oxy and asking them to refer zero students for the next three years.It costs $99 to reach every guidance counselor in America and $75 to translate that message order to reach international feeder schools.

We don’t care about the rankings plummeting temporarily or using the endowment just for operating expenses when next year’s incoming class consists of only 10 people. (On the upside your student/faculty ratio will be better).

Your point of contact is one of the few who believes that escalation isn’t necessary, that the current administration doesn’t need to be fired outright, that this safety can be solved through collaboration before your next Trustee meeting.

Once April is over, she will step down and the college will no longer have a direct point of contact to the concerned alumni. Your only method of contacting us will be to contact the news and let them know that you are firing the entire administration and installing a zero tolerance policy.

Elizabeth Amini ’95
On behalf of concerned alumni
(Non-leader but point of contact)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. We didn’t call for an anti-college war like your tweet suggests. We will give the Occidental College every change to cooperate with us to fix the safety problems at Oxy. We’re meeting with the President on Friday, and have left a message for Chris Calkins the Trustee Board Chair and if he ever calls back, we will talk to him .

    If April ends without new effective safety processes in place, we will stop collaborating, disconnect all direct contact, and escalate the situation until safety for students is achieved.

    The first goal will be to contact every guidance counselor referring students to Oxy and let them know what is going on at the school so they will be fully aware of what they would be sending students into. They should know – they should know now, in the fall, and every time a student is assaulted.

    Our second goal is put pressure on the school in various ways until they do the right thing. Our methods will be legal and persuasive.

    Frankly it shouldn’t take so long to solve safety problems. We look forward to solving this problem through collaboration in the next two weeks. If collaboration fails, we’ll need to solve this without looping in the administration. Safety for students is priority #1.

  2. The alumni should be careful and thoughtful about their next steps. As a parent of a current female student and an alum of another institution, escalating the situation and facilitating a negative “vibe” about Oxy and decreasing giving will only cause harm to admissions and the student body at large. It is easy to be angry when the impact is not on yourselves.

    The sexual assault situation is all over the country. My own alma mater boasts a 1/3 rate of attempted or completed rape on campus with little media exposure. As a parent, I am pretty impressed with the steps Occidental is taking. That being said, there is room for improvement, however, Oxy is more transparent than most. I am less impressed, however, with a college professor who sleeps with a reporter, who is covering the sexual assault situation at Occidental.

  3. Pam, are you still impressed with Oxy once you learn that they gave a serial rapist a five page book report as punishment instead of being expelled? What about the fact that the administrator who gave out the book report was never fired and is still in the same role at the college?

    Other colleges’ abismal records doesn’t excuse our own. It’s rare indeed to catch a rapist. That the college would squander the opportunity to expel him and instead put him back on campus is nothing to be impressed by.

    The bad vibe here is caused by the rapists and the administrators’ inaction, not by the alumni who have bravely stepped in to fight a battle that the students and faculty have been fighting for years.

    As for the professor, as long as the sex involved consent, no one cares. Take your outrage and direct it at all the non-consensual sex the administrators haven’t put an end to.

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