Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Students stage protest against Northwestern, Ludlow

Northwestern University students protested what they perceive to be the University's inadequate response to philosophy professor Peter Ludlow's alleged sexual misconduct involving an undergraduate student.
Following a forum Monday on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination by higher education organizations receiving federal funding, students decided to sit in and then walk out of Ludlow’s 12:30 p.m. “Philosophy of Psychology” class to protest his continued employment by the University after a Medill junior filed a lawsuit claiming he sexually assaulted her in February 2012.


Ludlow cancelled the class Monday morning, but about 100 students gathered anyway to discuss the future of their movement and march to Mangelsdorf’s office, 1918 Sheridan Road.
Students left the sit-in at Harris Hall and gathered silently at The Rock for a few minutes, after which they proceeded to march through The Arch and down Sheridan Road to protest in front of the office. Some held signs with messages of support, including quotes from the online petition posted by concerned faculty after the University filed a response Feb. 21 denying any Title IX violations.
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While protesting, students demanded a forum with University administrators, Ludlow’s termination and more accountability and transparency from NU regarding its sexual misconduct policies.
SESP sophomore Jessica Arnold told the crowd that the student who filed the lawsuit is not the only one to be sexually assaulted at NU. Many are afraid to speak out, she said.
“When people do come forward and people are so brave, no one will help them,” Arnold said.
While they protested Ludlow’s employment, many recognized the issue was larger than one student’s story.
As students gathered in Harris before the march, Whittenburg thanked them for coming, calling it “a victory” that Ludlow had cancelled his class. The group has gotten the University’s attention, but the fight is not over, she said.
“They have not made the changes that we are wanting to see here. They have not taken Professor Ludlow out of the classroom and they have not made the changes that we believe are necessary,” Whittenburg said. “Let’s not be complacent and let’s keep going.”
Update: Here's a video of the demonstration:

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