Petition concerning University sexual assault policy circulates online

The petition was advertised on Facebook by nonprofit Breakthrough U.S.

By Emily Kramer

A petition urging the University of Chicago administration to address sexual assault was recently posted and advertised on Facebook by Breakthrough U.S., a non-profit global human rights organization that seeks to combat violence and discrimination against women.

The letter asks President Zimmer to commit to campus safety by implementing sexual assault prevention programs, funding sexual assault response services for survivors, evaluating and reforming “rape culture” on campus, and maintaining transparency in the administration as these efforts are made.

The petition states, “We want our school to stand as a beacon of campus safety. The University of Chicago is a prestigious institution where all students have the chance to fulfill our personal and professional aspirations and reach our greatest potential. To be successful we must know that our safety here is a priority.”

According to Joe Samalin, a senior program manager at Breakthrough, the petition currently has 47 signatures.

“We’re just getting started,” Samalin said. “We invite students from across UChicago to join us, and thousands of other students around the country who are inviting their campus presidents to create a firestorm of positive change—together.”