Southeast Asian Student Coalition
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
506 BARROWS HALL, BERKELEY, CA 94720-2570
sasc.berkeley.edu | firstname.lastname@example.org
February 6, 2018
We, the 2017-2018 SASCommunity Chairs (SASComm), are writing this statement in response to the blog post “Sexual Assault, & Mactivists” and the statement “Former Coordinators and Mentors Condemn Behavior and Sexual Assault that Took Place at SASC-SI 2006.” We would like to first apologize for our delayed response. As student organizers, we were at limited capacity during December 2017 (Reading/Review/Recitation Week and Finals Week). However, we recognize the severity of this case and have been working alongside SASC Alumni, Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD), and more to address these issues within our community and programs.
UC Berkeley’s Southeast Asian Student Coalition (SASC) was founded in 2000 by a group of college students who sought to empower the Southeast Asian community. Our mission statement is “to unite Southeast Asian communities, particularly those bounded by the historical context of the Viet Nam War, and to address the social injustices, economic inequalities, and political under-representation that they face.” Summer Institute (SI) is a program that was established in 2001 to empower Southeast Asian youth and to teach them about their hxstories and cultures. SI is a five-day, four-night program where high school students and community members from all over the country come together to share and learn about culture, hxstory, and identity, while receiving resources about higher education.
Over the years, both SASC and SI has intended to build and provide safe spaces for all of our community members. In light of this blog post, we have realized that our spaces were flawed and not safe for all. We are committed to redeveloping our programs and implementing structural changes in order to protect our community, particularly those who are more marginalized, such as womxn, gender non-conforming people, queer people, trans people, and more.
We condemn all forms of sexual assault, harassment, and violence mentioned in both the blogpost and statement. We not only acknowledge that the blog post and statement highlight the experiences of one person, but also recognize that this experience may not be limited only to this former SASC SI mentee.
As an organization, as mentors, and as community organizers, we hold positions of power that exist within patriarchal systems and culture and we will remain committed to holding ourselves accountable to our community. Moving forward, we aim to:
- Better educate SASComm, SASC community members, and SI participants (coordinators, mentors, mentees and volunteers)
- Request a workshop with UC Berkeley’s PATH to Care to train on prevention, advocacy, training, and healing efforts related to sexual violence and harassment
- Improve mentor and volunteer training by working in collaboration with PATH to Care and other local organizations
- Update the curriculum of SI and other SASC programs
- This would be achieved through the addition of information on how to identify precursors of misogynistic behavior, as well as how to be an active ally before, during, and after witnessing and/or learning of incidences of sexual harassment and assault. Such workshops and trainings would be mandatory for all SI participants.
- Call upon members in our community and those who enter our space to understand their positions and accept the responsibilities that they hold in creating safe spaces committed to dismantling patriarchy and toxic masculinity by:
- Introducing and incorporating sexual violence prevention information in general meetings and other programming
- Explicitly discussing positions of power and issues of sexual violence before establishing community agreements that SI participants agree to abide by
- Provide all participants with a platform to address any forms of sexual assault, harassment, violence, etc.
- Provide contact information for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, UC Police Department, PATH to Care Center, Gender Equity Resource Center, and OPHD on name tags
- Create a platform where mentees can anonymously report incidents to coordinators
Google Form sent at the end of each night
Through these preliminary steps, we hope to prevent future incidents from occurring. If these incidents do occur, then we want survivors to feel safe and powerful enough to speak up if they choose to and to provide them with avenues to speak up and get support by making the following changes above.
We plan to work with our SASC Alumni, Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP), Path to Care Center, Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD), and more to address these issues within our community and programs. To support our communities, we also be holding healing spaces in February 2018. At the end of the year, SASC will create an end-of-the-year report to inform our communities on the status of SI and other SASC programs and to share what goals we were able to achieve. This report will be shared on our website and Facebook page and to our mailing lists.
Finally, we would like to thank the author of the blogpost for speaking their truth in order to shed light on their experience. We hope that moving forward, we can provide a safe and secure platform for the author, other survivors, and community members. To this statement, we have attached resources for survivors.
We welcome any comments, suggestions, or resources from our community. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com
In love and solidarity,
Dylan Bach, Summer Institute Co-Director
Cecilia Nguyen, SEAGrad Co-Chair
Hoa Nguyen, SEAGrad Co-Chair
Jenny Nguyen, Operations Chair
Leyna Nguyen, Apprentice Co-Chair
Nina Nguyen, SEA Development Support Chair
Van Nguyen, Apprentice Co-Chair
Sebastian Ong-Osmond, Internal Co-Chair
Dara Sengchanthavong, Internal Co-Chair and LASR Liaison
Bay Area Women Against Rape
24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline 24-Hour Hotline, English and Spanish: 510-845-7273
Offers in-person counseling and hospital, police, and courtroom accompaniment for people impacted by sexual assault and rape. All services are confidential and free.
Family Violence Law Center
Provides support and legal assistance for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Highland Sexual Assault Center (HSAC) provides crisis intervention, advocacy, accompaniment, information and referral and follow-up counseling to victims of sexual assault ages 14 and older in Alameda County.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Call: 877-739-3895 (Call toll-free)
UC Berkeley Resources:
API Connect – Thursdays from 3pm – 5pm.
API connect is a drop-in consultation service with a Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) Counselor in APASD (249 César Chavez).
CPS also has other counseling services located in Tang.
PATH to Care Center (Confidential advocates who bring a non-judgmental, caring approach to exploring all options, rights, and resources)
For 24/7 urgent support, please dial Care Line | 510-643-2005
PATH to Care can support the community in implementing strategies that transform culture and social norms in order to prevent violence and eliminate oppression. You can learn more about these opportunities here.
Survivors Support at UC Berkeley
Information about various on-campus resources and documents for survivors & those looking to support survivors.
Where to Get Support at UC Berkeley and Helping Someone