College Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a statement in agreement with proposed changes to the University of Chicago’s Title IX policy drafted by the Phoenix Survivors Alliance (PSA).
“College Council unequivocally endorses the changes proposed by Phoenix Survivors Alliance,” the resolution said. “We urge the University to immediately convene a committee, with ample student and faculty input, to rewrite its disciplinary procedures.”
The proposed changes focus on revising policies and increasing transparency from the administration regarding Title IX issues. PSA argues that the policies expressed on the school’s UMatter website are inaccurate, vague, and contradictory. Many of the propositions refer to specific examples from the website.
“I think this is a really deeply rooted problem on our campus that needs to be addressed, and there’s been a lot of silence from administrators on this matter,” said fourth-year Cosmo Albrecht.
One of the propositions stated that the University should “transcribe and/or make an audio recording of every hearing to allow for a just review process.” Though this proposition was met with concern by some Council members, who worried for the privacy of the parties involved in the hearing, all members ultimately voted in favor.
The College Council statement additionally called for “the University to be fully transparent in terms of its guidelines for adjudicating cases of sexual harassment and assault in order to provide due process and recourse to survivors on campus.”
According to the petition, PSA wants the University to “publicize the specific type and amount of training that [Disciplinary Committee] members receive, as well as the criteria by which candidates for the committee are selected.”
Recently, the Phoenix Survivors Alliance has been working to raise awareness for their petition. Last week, about 25 demonstrators met outside Cobb Gate with white sheets and signs.
So far, 25 RSOs have signed the PSA petition.