Survivors Protest Draws Attention to Campus Sexual Assault Problem

(Photo courtesy of Emma Love '21)

Messages were written on sidewalks across campus to amplify the voices of campus survivors. (Photo courtesy of Emma Love ’22)

By Katie Oglesby, News Editor

Survivors of Gettysburg, an organization dedicated to the issue of sexual assault on campus, held a protest the second week of classes where students would order posters from them and hang them in their windows. These posters made statements such as, “Gettysburg College Has a Rape Problem” or “Gettysburg College Has a Stalking Problem.”

Protest organizers hung posters in buildings across campus. (Photo courtesy of Grace Verbrugge '22)

Protest organizers hung posters in buildings across campus. (Photo courtesy of Grace Verbrugge ’22)

“Our goal with this protest was to draw attention to the issue of campus sexual assault here at Gettysburg, specifically the prevalence of administrative apathy,”  said Emma Love ‘22, one of Survivors of Gettysburg’s founders.

Love explained that more than 20 individual students ordered posters, and many houses and sororities on campus ordered in bulk for their organizations.

“We believe that we have a supportive community backing us,” she continued. Love also noted that many people volunteered to help hang signs and others donated money and supplies.

The posters could be seen in windows in residence halls and hung on a line in front of Plank Gym. Around campus, students had written messages about their sexual assault experience in chalk on sidewalks. Some asked the college to take stronger action to protect victims. One chalk message began with footprints leading to each part of the student’s story. “Take a walk in my shoes,” it read.

(Photo courtesy of Emma Love '22)

(Photo courtesy of Emma Love ’22)

Love also shared that Survivors of Gettysburg is planning further demonstrations for April — Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Since the protest, the College responded in a CBS article that counseling services are available to in-person and remote students and an amnesty policy is in place for students reporting an assault who were violating college rules at the time. The Instagram account for Survivors of Gettysburg responded to these claims beginning with “Gettysburg College Has a Problem…And Can’t Seem to Admit It,” asking for a clear amnesty policy on the College website as well as social media, better counseling options for remote and out-of-state students, and for the reinstatement of a Victim Services Advocate.

“The College stated that they were still making resources and counseling services available to remote students during the pandemic. They lied,” said Survivors of Gettysburg in their Instagram post. “The College told CBS that they maintain an amnesty policy for anyone reporting sexual misconduct while violating COVID-19 protocols. They never told us this.”

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Author: Katie Oglesby

Katelyn (Katie) Oglesby '23 serves as the News Editor of the Gettysburgian. She is an English with a Writing Concentration and Political Science double major. She is from San Diego, California, and often spends most of her free time reading or writing. She is also the 5k Treasurer for Alpha Phi Omega and a staff editor for the Mercury Literary Magazine.

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