I'm a big admirer of the work our new leader is putting forth, but cutting the Advocacy (previously known as the R.A.P.E. Center) is not one of them. I hope everyone in the SU community recognizes the importance of having this kind of sexual assault resource, especially on college campuses and signs this. The people at the Advocacy Center do tremendous work, and in this day and age ought to see their funding increased, not cut.
I'll just copy and paste the petition because it's much more eloquent than anything I can say (though they certainly could have used a couple different paragraphs), and fills up the word quota.
Chancellor Kent Syverud
Syracuse University, Office of the Chancellor
We respectfully ask that you reinstate The Advocacy Center and allow it to provide confidential sexual assault support services and education at Syracuse University for students. As students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Syracuse, we ask that you reconsider your decision. This change in the campus community will negatively impact students. Many of us are advocates working directly in the field or are victims of sexual assault, and we know the importance of The Advocacy Center and why it should remain a specified resource on campus for students. This center provides counseling, education, support, and critical resources to students that make our campus safer for all of our community. We cannot place it within another office on campus and assume its purpose will be the same.
On May 30, 2014, the Syracuse University community received an email from our Chancellor stating the various changes that have been made or will be made in the coming days, months, and years. As part of his slated changes, The Advocacy Center (formerly known as The R.A.P.E. Center), which provides sexual assault resources and support to college students, was announced to be closed June 4th, 2014. The services of the AC will be redirected as part of the Counseling Center at SU. According to the Chancellor's memo: "Under the new structure, the Counseling Center will serve as the primary entry point for students who have been impacted by sexual violence and who need access to confidential and privileged services." However, as sexual assault awareness advocates, we know this does not work. We know that placing these services under an umbrella of mental health services does not work. We know that consolidating these services within a larger pool of health services does not work. We know that making excuses of confidentiality clauses and employee responsibilities does not work. We know that mandating reporting of sexual assaults does not work. We know that forcing survivors to go through channel after channel to receive services does not work. But we know what does work. We know that The Advocacy Center at SU provided a safer space for students to come forward with their experiences and heal. We know the AC provided education and volunteer work for students seeking to better their community. We know the AC was there for any student that needed them. We know the AC worked. Help us #BringBacktheAC by signing this petition to show SU that students know what works!