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It is up to institutions of higher education to protect their most vulnerable students.

One of the greatest values of a college education is the opportunity to live, work, and study with people from completely different backgrounds. It exposes you to new ways of thinking, living, and opens your perspective beyond your own upbringing. When colleges take measures to properly orient students for this experience, meaningful dialogues and greater cultural awareness occurs. Too often, campuses fail to provide sustainable support and marginalized students are the ones who suffer the most. Such was the case at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, where a white freshman named Brianna Brochu created such a hostile living environment that her Black roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, was forced to move out. As Rowe was leaving, she was made aware of social media posts where Brochu called her a “Jamaican Barbie” and bragged about contaminating her personal items with bodily fluids throughout the month and a half they’d been living together. It was then that Rowe went public in a Facebook Live video and demanded that Brochu be held responsible for her racist bullying and harassment. She accused the campus of attempting to sweep the incident under the rug by quietly arresting Brochu without alerting her. She also spoke of ongoing medical issues as a result of Brochu’s abuse and being forced to come out-of-pocket for health services on campus. Rowe later told local radio station WTIC that school officials threatened to remove her from campus for speaking about the incident publicly. It was only after Rowe’s video that Brochu was arrested by Hartford Police and expelled from campus. Brochu confessed to third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace; both minor charges that carry a maximum sentence of six months each. Police then added a charge of intimidation based on bigotry or bias to Brochu’s case, a hate crime charge. Many argue that Brochu should be charged with attempted murder for essentially poisoning her then-roommate. The National Fair Housing Alliance issued a statement saying the harassment may be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Related: WHITE PEOPLE: STOP WEAPONIZING OUR EMOTIONS TO AVOID YOUR RACISM

Inviting Betsy DeVos is highly disrespectful towards students who have benefited from public education, as well as the students who are trauma survivors.

By Montez Jennings I graduated from University of Baltimore (UB) in 2016 and as a former student I was rather surprised to hear that current Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos was invited to speak at Fall 2017 commencement. Current UB President, Kurt Schmoke, decided out of all of the people in Baltimore city, Maryland and the DMV area, that DeVos would be the best person for the job. The same DeVos who doesn’t believe in public education and wants to rewrite the rules of Title IX  in favor of accused rapists. After moments of disbelief, it’s safe to say my alma mater beyond disappointed me. I remember my time at the commuter school — many who are familiar with the university knows it was initially for the working person offering an array of classes at night — however, the culture has shifted between its founding in 1925 and now. The school welcomed a few more areas of study and a lot more young Black and Brown kids, even going from a two-year school to admitting freshman. I attended the university two years after being a student at a private Catholic single sex school. UB has its niche and its flair, being the modern, somewhat liberal university stationed in a thriving intersection of the city.
Related: THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS SIDING WITH RAPISTS

Trump's plan to erase the Obama administration’s policies will support a system that will continue to inflict trauma and will perpetuate the informal legalization of rape.

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education under President Donald Trump, would dismantle parts of Title IX, including policies based on the 2011, Office for Civil Rights-issued “Dear Colleague” letter, which stipulates that sexual violence and harassment interfere with a student’s right to receive an education free from discrimination. The announcement comes after DeVos spent this summer consulting with various campus sexual assault groups to decide the best course of action to uphold patriarchal white supremacy. Among advocates for survivors, she also met with — surprise, surprise — advocates for the rights of accused rapists. The department hasn’t specified a timeline just yet, so for now, this announcement simply confirms their intent. Given that the President is an admitted and unapologetic sexual predator himself, this is appalling but unfortunately it is not shocking. The White House removed its report on sexual assault prevention from its website just before the announcement, as if it couldn’t make it any clearer how this administration feels about sexual violence.
Related: HERE’S WHY THE DONALD TRUMP RAPE ALLEGATIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

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