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Students for Survivors release 10 demands for UC

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A student group at the University of Cincinnati issued a list of demands focused on UC’s lack of support for survivors of sexual assault Tuesday. 

Students for Survivors formed in August 2016 to support survivors, issue survivor-focused events, hold UC accountable and bring change to campus.

The demands released reflect changes the group believes the university should implement. They expect a response on Dec. 4, according to the document.

In the event a response is not made by this date, the group says they will take “appropriate non-violent action” to continue pushing for one.

An update on a $12,400 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office awarded to the Office of Public Safety to expand support services for survivors, a public address of the current state of UC’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and university efforts to hire a full-time Title IX coordinator and enforce a comprehensive consent curriculum are among the demands made by Students for Survivors.

UC’s Public Safety Department will use the grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to establish a private location on UC’s Uptown campus for victims of sexual assault to receive forensic examination services from trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) of Butler County, according to a press release published Jan. 12, 2016.

There’s been a lack of transparency in this matter, according to Grace Cunningham, a third-year sociology student and co-founder of Students for Survivors.

“That’s a huge sum of money that was granted in January,” said Cunningham. “I’m interested to see what the university has done with funding or has plans to do.”

This resource could benefit survivors greatly, according to Cunningham.

While CAPS provides unlimited free sessions to students in the ARISE program — a program dedicated to students who have experienced gender-based or interpersonal violence — unlimited sessions are only available to students who experienced this violence during the time they were a student attending UC, according to Cunningham.

As of Aug. 22, 2016 students not meeting this criteria and all other students are offered three free individual sessions per semester.

Just because a survivor may not have been assaulted while attending UC doesn’t mean their mental health is less important or less of a reality, according to Cunningham.

The list of demands comes just after the election of Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and in the midst of a federal lawsuit against UC by a student accused of sexual assault.

While the group has been working on the list of demands all semester, these incidents furthered their desire to make it clear what the university wasn’t doing and to shed a light on what was happening on campus, according to Cunningham.

“[UC] claims to support survivors and they claim to do all these things, but reality is it’s more talk,” said Cunningham.