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F*ckrapeculture criticizes administration responses with rally at courthouse

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Leaders of f*ckrapeculture criticized administrators during a rally held on the steps of the courthouse Friday afternoon.

Co-Founder Allie Erwin stood in front of a crowd of more than 60 students with a megaphone in hand and laid out the requests to administrative officials and their responses.

While speaking to Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones, Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and President Roderick McDavis in a meeting last Monday, Co-Founder Claire Chadwick and Erwin laid out three policies they wanted enacted.

They asked for sexual harassment training for student workers.

“We were told that the university needs time to research programs and would Claire and I do the research for them,” Erwin said.

They asked for consent and safe sex training for first-year lead by other students.

“We were told they were afraid of backlash and that they needed time to research their options,” Erwin said.

They asked for a meeting between student leaders and administrators.

“We were told they need to confer with other administrators at other universities who have done similar leadership summits so that they could figure out how to not have too many student voices,” Erwin said.

“These responses are all bullsh*t,” Erwin concluded as the crowd cheered her on. “They are also indicative of just how much our administrators value our safety. They ask students to do their homework for them and then waver for fear of backlash, while accepting a raise for the second time in about a month,” she said, referring to a raise McDavis received earlier in the day during a Board of Trustees meeting.

“Until we see real action from them, our embarrassing activism isn’t going to stop. We’re not going to shut up. We’re not going to disappear.”

However, administrators walked away from the meeting with a different conclusion.

When asked about Erwin’s comments about the sexual harassment training, Lombardi said on behalf of the three administrators, “That’s not exactly how I remember that conversation… in an earlier conversation with Allie, I asked her if they had any ideas or if they had looked at any other schools, if they had any ideas about what that training might look like… but we are moving forward. There is no question about that.”

Concerning the backlash Erwin said the administration feared, Lombardi said, “The president said that we wanted to make sure the students receive it well. In other words, we don’t want this to be administrators preaching at students.”

As for “having too many student voices,” Lombardi responded by saying, “If you were to have a meeting, you can’t have a meeting with 500 people… We might have said that we couldn’t have every single student organization represented because there are 500 student organizations and it probably wouldn’t be logistically possible to schedule a meeting with all those students, but there is no desire to limit student voice at all.”

Erwin and Chadwick also asked for an email to be sent to everyone on campus outlining current sexual misconduct policies. The email has not yet been sent.

Lombardi said it has not been sent yet because of the lack of time, and “there was no sense that it needed to happen immediately.”

The leadership meeting and consent training are intended to be implemented by spring of this year, and the sexual harassment training by fall of next year.

“They said that was a very reasonable timeframe,” Lombardi said.

“I am a little surprised at some of the references made, but I also understand that it is a rally so they’re trying to get people excited,” Lombardi concluded. “I can take it with that a grain of salt and I can understand what they are trying to accomplish with this rally… But I think it’s important to note that we all take this very very seriously.”

F*ckrapeculture chose the courthouse for the rally because of its proximity to Chase Bank, where an alleged sexual assault occurred several weeks ago. The sex act was filmed and posted on several social media sites, and quickly gained international attention by the media.

Although it was not the only reason, Chadwick said a large reason they organized the rally to protest student reactions to this incident.

“The way our ‘Bobcat Family’ reacted was atrocious,” she said. “We thought that this was an opportunity to bring that out in a public way. That talking about anyone like that is just not appropriate. It’s perpetuating a culture that makes violating people’s personal autonomies acceptable, and that’s just something we’re really looking to change.”

This goal stands in contrast to the organization’s first rally, which focused on changing administrative policies, Chadwick said.

Among chants of “Blame the system, not the victim” and “Wherever I am, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no,” participants were given the opportunity to take the megaphone.

Emily Harper, a senior, told about an incident when her and her brother, who was visiting for the weekend, were in a bar uptown.

“I was unaware that I was blocking the path to the men’s bathroom, but every man that went by to relieve himself felt it necessary to put his hands on either my ass or my waist to get me to move out of the way,” she said. “And then one guy just straight up cupped by breasts… I don’t know about you, but when I say don’t f*cking touch me, that means don’t f*cking touch me. There is a thing called personal space and it needs to be respected regardless of your gender.”

Her and her brother were kicked out of the bar after her brother removed the man’s hands from Harper and pulled the man to the ground.

Another student, freshman Michael Mayberry, said he had been walking a friend home his first night at OU when two men yelled at him. The female friend was intoxicated, but Mayberry was not.

“While I was walking down Jeff hill, two guys behind me said ‘Yo, dude, this is your time to put your move on her. You could totally get some tonight,’” he said. “And I turned around and said ‘F*ck you, that’s rape.’”

Mayberry said he responded in this way because he felt it was warranted.

“There’s this assumption that we have a right, as men, to sexual activity and I wanted to dispel that assumption,” he said. “[I wanted] to basically tell these guys that their idea of consent was a misconception, and I needed them to kind of understand that.”

He continued by explaining why this movement should be equally important to men on campus.

“We all have mothers and sisters and connections to women who we need to protect and respect, as fellow humans,” he said. “It’s not even a matter of gender. It’s just a matter of respect.”

Two organizations with similar goals, EmBODY Consent and Hollaback!, worked with f*ckrapeculture to organize the rally.

Editor’s note: in an earlier version of this article, Erwin’s name was misspelled.  

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