For Immediate Release…

#BringBacktheAC

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, wasannounced to be closed June 4, 2014. In response to this announcement, students and alumni of Syracuse University felt the need to take action. As a result, a petition was created, which has generated over 2,500 signatures in just two days. A blog hosting a collection of stories, experiences, and resources for supporters and advocates to review and share can also be found here. We’ve even begun sharing photos of “#BringBackTheAC because…”

The Advocacy Center, originally named The R.A.P.E. Center and founded in 1990, is a centralized space for survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence, advocates, and allies. This space provides an array of opportunities for students to volunteer, participate in a discussion-based groups, and prepare campus wide advocacy events such as Take Back the Night. In addition to this, the Advocacy Center’s main purpose is to provide direct services to survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence and support survivor needs and rights. As of June 4, 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.”

As a campus community comprised of survivors, advocates, organizers, service providers, friends, faculty, and students, we are asking our Chancellor to reconsider this decision immediately. This decision will impact our student body negatively and could result in fewer reported cases, more students seeking external sources or none at all, and increased stigmatization of sexual violence. Most importantly, the decision of dissolving the Advocacy Center was not consulted with students. Our voices have been ignored. Therefore, we ask that you join us by providing your signatures or sharing your stories. We can be reached at any of the following emails below: eringcarhart@gmail.com, paang44@gmail.com, and samyer01@syr.edu.

Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/chancellor-kent-syverud-reinstatement-of-the-advocacy-center-to-provide-confidential-sexual-assault-support-services-at-syracuse-university
Blog: https://bringbacktheac.wordpress.com/
Photo Collection: https://bringbacktheac.wordpress.com/category/photos/

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