Home Politics ISO discusses tackling campus rape and renaming the Roger E. Ailes Newsroom

ISO discusses tackling campus rape and renaming the Roger E. Ailes Newsroom

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The International Socialist Organization (ISO) discussed building a movement against the rising issue of on-campus rape and sexual assault in its meeting Wednesday evening.

“Fighting Back Against the Campus Rape Crisis,” the name of this week’s meeting, drew students from outside the organization who were interested in both learning about and battling the national issue.

So many new faces were there that senior Bobby Walker, one of ISO’s organizers, decided to start the meeting with an icebreaker. Anissa Matthews, another member of ISO, followed the icebreaker by introducing the first topic of the meeting: an article titled “Protecting the university, failing rape survivors.”

Matthews discussed the ongoing issue of campus rape, saying that although the article is two years old, it is still relevant, perhaps even more so today than two years ago. She also noted there were over 300 universities being investigated for Title IX violations by the federal government as of June 2016.

“There is a consistent pattern of hostility and retaliation against women who come forward, particularly those who may present a threat to the school,” Matthews said.

Even faculty members who advocate for the victims often face harassment from their peers, according to Matthews.

After the discussion of the article, Walker opened the floor for discussion. Popular topics of discussion included Brock Turner, the Roger E. Ailes Newsroom and rape culture at Ohio University.

A few students brought up the absurdity of Turner’s sentence and the media coverage of him and other rapists.

“They’ll tell you everything you want to know about the rapist,” Jeremy Browne said. “You know that Brock Turner was a swimmer, but that’s not what we should know about him.”

Turner’s three-month sentence sparked conversation about the way universities punish sexual crimes as opposed to other crimes.

“I find it rather obscene that I am more likely to get expelled from this college for smoking pot in my own room than raping a woman or a man,” Colby Smith said.

The lack of administrative punishment can be attributed in part to university finances, according to Walker. She explained that the university makes most of its decisions based on what will make or lose money.

“They need to understand that we as students are organized, and they better be scared,” Walker said.

Ryan Powers, another member of ISO, reflected Walker’s sentiment by explaining that the university has to compete for funding. He also said that to get the administration to change, students need to make it less profitable to defend the school and more profitable to defend victims.

“There’s an English professor who has been sexually assaulting women here for years,” Sasha Gough pointed out, “and he has had multiple Title IX investigations open against him, yet he still works here.”

The organization came to the conclusion that it needs to work together to prove to the administration that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

In the second part of the meeting, ISO proposed ways to go about tackling the issue.

Walker officially proposed a campaign called “Abandon Ailes” to remove Roger Ailes’ name from the WOUB newsroom. The proposal passed unanimously.

ISO discussed creating an online petition, as well as canvassing for the paper petition, to remove the name. It also plans to attend Student Senate next week with a proposal for a resolution to petition the university to change the name of the newsroom.

After attending Student Senate, ISO will meet in Scripps 016 at 8 p.m. Anyone interested in helping with the “Abandon Ailes” campaign or joining ISO is welcome to attend.

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