A Letter in Support of Assembly For Justice

October 22, 2012 12:00 am0 comments

We write in support of the Assembly for Justice and other student groups who through actions and public statements are working to focus attention on sexual violence and related issues during a tense and difficult time for Cornell. 

This campus has been traumatized in recent weeks by a series of nighttime attacks on Cornell students.  Students have continued to attend classes and study after hours while police investigate the incidents.   We applaud the bravery of our students during this difficult time, and we appreciate the efforts of Cornell security to protect the safety of community members and provide clear information about support services.

Though they recognize the always-present risk of sexual assault by strangers, the  members of the Assembly for Justice have used the present incidents as an occasion to focus attention on the more pervasive problem of sexual assault by acquaintances.  According to national figures, about one in four women students are assaulted during their years in college; of these assaults, 82 percent occur at the hands of acquaintances and 60–65 percent occur in places familiar to the victims. (One in 10 college men will also be assaulted sexually.) These statistics are only possible within an atmosphere of ignorance and collusion that tacitly enables assaultive behavior. As the Assembly for Justice points out, sexual assaults are connected to other forms of violence, verbal and physical, particularly harassment of people of color and people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. All of these are problems at Cornell, and we applaud student activists for encouraging the rest of us to stand up against forms of hate in our community.

We also believe that actions like the Assembly’s recent rally outside Day Hall stand in a proud tradition of legitimate protest at Cornell and can serve to dramatize issues that affect many members of the community directly and all of us indirectly. We applaud the willingness of the administration to listen carefully to the group’s concerns and to act collaboratively to address them. As faculty, we expect that we, like other members of the Cornell community, will also play a role in making the University a safer and more compassionate environment for all.

Edward E. Baptist, History

Richard Boyd, Philosophy

Jeremy Braddock, English

Gene Carroll, School of Industrial and Labor Relations 

Maria Lorena Cook, International and Comparative Labor

Raymond Craib, History

Bret De Bary, Asian Studies and Comparative Literature

Stuart Davis, English

Ileen A. DeVault, Labor Relations, Law, and History

Darlene Evans,  The John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines

Ellen Gainor, Performing and Media Arts

Maria Cristina Garcia, History and Latino Studies 

Durba Ghosh, History

Carl Allen Ginet, Philosophy (emeritus)

Ellis Hanson, English

Molly Hite, English

Harold Hodes, philosophy

Saida Hodzic, Anthropology and FGSS

Cary Howie, Romance Studies

Louis Hyman, Labor Relations, Law and History

Jane Juffer, English and FGSS

Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Government

Michelle Kosch, philosophy

Victor Koschmann, History

Barbara Kozlowski, Human Development

Bruce Levitt, Performing and Media Arts

Risa Lieberwitz,  Industrial and Labor Relations

Beth A. Livingston, Human Resource Studies

Kathleen Long, Romance Studies.

Kathryn S. March, Anthropology, FGSS, & Public Affairs

Verónica Martínez-Matsuda, Department of Labor Relations, Law, and History

Sally McConnell-Ginet, Linguistics (emeritus)

Katherine McCullough, English

Marilyn Migiel, Romance Studies

Richard W. Miller, Philosophy

Lisa Nishii, Human Resource Studies

Andrea Parrot, Policy Analysis and Management

Lucinda Ramberg, Anthropology and FGSS

Nerissa Russell, Anthropology

Nick Salvato, Performing and Media Arts

Paul Sawyer, English and Knight Institute

Lowell Turner, International and Comparative Labor

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, English

Sara L. Warner, Performing and Media Arts

Rachel Weil, History

Marina Welker, Anthropology

Marjorie Elizabeth Wood, Labor Relations, Law, and History