A University of Pennsylvania anti-sexual assault organization has severed ties with the school’s official student Democratic group due to its support for presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The Coalition Against Fraternity Sexual Assault announced its split with the Penn Democrats yesterday via Twitter. The reason: Accusations of sexual assault against the former vice-president.
CAFSA has decided to revoke the Coalition status of Penn Dems in light of their decision to endorse Joe Biden, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment by numerous women.
Attached is our public statement regarding this decision.https://t.co/gikldPhsiu
— CAFSA Penn (@CAFSAPenn) April 21, 2020
The attached statement says “Biden has failed to acknowledge [accuser Tara Reade’s] claims, and his campaign has brushed them off.” It adds the longtime senator’s “history of handling abuse allegations […] shows his disregards for the gravity of those experiences.”
Despite its endorsement, the Penn Democrats asked for an investigation into Reade’s accusations earlier this month.
CAFSA claims an email by the Penn Democrats “fail[ed] to address the other women who accused Biden of sexual assault” and echoed the New York Times‘ tone which “heavily privileged” Biden’s views over Reade’s.
CAFSA also complains that the Penn Democrats have never condemned Biden’s attacks against “high profile Black women” like Anita Hill.
According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, CAFSA was founded last year to “combat rape culture and support historically underrepresented minorities.”
As per its website, all Penn groups in the CAFSA coalition support the expulsion of the fraternities “from areas in which students may have to pass them to and from classes,” and their replacement by ethnic cultural centers. The site also lists several demands, including that Penn implement mandatory sexual harassment and “cultural diversity” training for all faculty, fraternities, and all freshmen.
CAFSA admitted that the group apologized to Penn Dems for making “mistakes” when removing them from the coalition, and said they have now created formal policies about removal process — however, they remain firm in their decision to kick out Penn Dems. CAFSA said they have also outlined new coalition member expectations that they plan to publicize in the coming week.
“The way in which they handled the split was also deeply hurtful and antithetical to their mission, but we thank them for their transparency in the second piece of their statement and for their apology.” Penn Dems wrote. “We will continue to fight for violence prevention on campus and in the political realm, an issue for which Penn Dems has advocated for years.”
CAFSA said its decision was unanimous.
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