Students’ Silent Protest Against Sexual Assault
Students At Elite Universities Use Red Tape To Stage Silent Protests At Commencement
Many students saw this year’s commencement season as a time for solidarity, and not necessarily celebration.
Students at elite universities across the United States decorated their caps and gowns in red tape to protest the handling of sexual assault cases on campus, with the latest example at Stanford University on Sunday:
— Brianne Huntsman (@ceohunty) June 15, 2014
â�� Emma J (@emmanating) June 5, 2014
The practice of using red tape to convey a message of discontent originated at Columbia University in the late 1990s. It was meant to symbolize the bureaucratic barriers students faced reporting sexual violence.
Red tape in protest of Columbias mishandling of sexual assault at Barnard Graduation today pic.twitter.com/nV8QXBr1cd
â�� Anna Bahr (@anna_bahr) May 18, 2014
â�� Vivid Ricky (@VividRicky) May 31, 2014
â�� Lauren Landry (@laurlandry) May 30, 2014
â�� Katherine Long (@longkatherinea) May 25, 2014
â�� Juhee Kwon (@juhee_kwon) May 24, 2014
â�� Emily Layden (@emilylayden) June 6, 2014
â�� Brianne Huntsman (@ceohunty) June 16, 2014
â�� Abigail Burman (@Abigail_Burman) May 26, 2014
They did so after Oxford students launched an It Happens Here Tumblr documenting the experiences of sexual violence survivors on campus. A number of American colleges, like Amherst College and Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, have hosted similar blogs about sexual assault at their campuses over the past several years.