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Sign the Petition to

President Barron and University Administrators

21 March 2015

President Barron and University Administrators:

We marched yesterday to be clear that the Penn State community will not tolerate the exploitation and endangerment of ANY of its members.

We marched yesterday to be clear that the Penn State students victimized by Kappa Delta Rho deserve justice.

We marched yesterday to be clear that you, our leaders, must take a stronger stance to protect and defend the Penn State community from those who would disrespect and destroy it.

According to the Office of Student Conduct’s Procedural Guidelines for the University Discipline Process, “The University does not tolerate sexual misconduct or abuse, such as sexual assault, rape, or any other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity.”

In light of this unequivocal policy of zero tolerance, we spoke out to advocate the following four responses:

(1) We insist that the Office of Student Conduct, in accordance with its guidelines, put all current students listed as members of KDR’s private Facebook group on Interim Suspension until criminal charges have been fully investigated.

(2) We demand that all responsible parties—those who are found to have participated both actively and complicitly* in exploiting and endangering our fellow Penn Staters—be expelled from the University.

* We changed “passively” to “complicitly” to reflect the importance of disciplining those individuals who consented to join the private Facebook group, viewed the content posted, and chose to stand by and do nothing.

(3) We insist that the University sever all ties with Kappa Delta Rho’s local chapter immediately.

(4) Finally, we demand that, as “some members of the University senior leadership” have proposed, the entire fraternity system be reevaluated, scrutinized, and held to the highest community standards of civility, respect, and care.

We spoke with Damon Sims, Vice President of Student Affairs, regarding these proposed actions. Dr. Sims indicated that Interim Suspension is not possible on legal grounds of uncertain timeline and lack of immediate threat. We respectfully reject Dr. Sims’ position and wish to explore alternative routes to Interim Suspension. While we recognize the importance of legal adjudication, we believe that the University has the prerogative to hold its faculty, staff, and students to a higher standard of conduct. Like University administrators, we have faith in the State College Police Department to enact due process of law. That being said, we believe that the University has an obligation to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning—free of threats, whether they be physical or psychological. Students and alumni know that it is a privilege to attend and graduate from Penn State, and administrators now have the opportunity to emphasize just how meaningful that privilege is.

President Barron, you said that you “pledge that everything within [y]our power will be done to hold those responsible accountable for their actions and to assist anyone who has been victimized by these shameful acts.” We are watching, and we are waiting for you to fulfill that pledge. We are encouraged by your commitment to accept and enact the 18 recommendations submitted by the Task Force on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment. Based on your openness to the Task Force’s suggestions, we are confident that you will show the strong leadership that students and alumni expect from you. We will continue to advocate for our proposal until we are satisfied that meaningful, lasting change is underway.

Josie Rose … Philipsburg, PA … Class of ‘00, ‘03, and ‘04
Lauren Lewis … Tyrone, PA … Class of ‘15

Signed,

Josie and Lauren -Alumna and Student

This petition closed about 4 years ago

How this will help

We each have our reasons for signing this petition, which is why we want everyone to have the opportunity of speaking up and speaking out against violence. This petition exists both to support...

We each have our reasons for signing this petition, which is why we want everyone to have the opportunity of speaking up and speaking out against violence. This petition exists both to support the victims of Kappa Delta Rho and to call upon University leaders to take stronger, more decisive action.

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