Whereas Social movements associated with the #MeToo banner are confronting sexual harassment in a variety of industries. Sexual harassment is clearly a worldwide phenomenon which impacts people in every country, of every race, and of all genders. This is a phenomenon which has hidden in plain sight for too long. The #MeToo movement is breaking the culture of silence which has developed around this topic and is eroding the systemic social structures which provide an environment that allows sexual harassment to occur. This movement provides a way to start breaking this culture of silence, but we have to recognize that the need to end sexual harassment goes beyond any one specific label or campaign.
Whereas There has been a long history of sexual harassment and abuse in the academic community, in particular which affects students and student workers. As an organization, CGEU and member unions are part of this community. We must note that our members have been targets, witnesses, or harassers; to no degree can we accept any notion that we are immune or apart from this issue. This type of sexual violence is not restricted to powerful administrators and professors taking advantage of students. We must be willing to hold ourselves, colleagues, and friends accountable as well.
Whereas Graduate employee organizations need to recognize the need for social justice issues as a core element in our organizing. Protecting our members from abuse and working to improve the safety of our campus community is a core principle in the student labor movement. Sexual harassment is a form of violence which must be confronted and condemned by all CGEU members.
Be It Resolved That CGEU and member organizations shall endorse a statement of support for the #MeToo movement. Furthermore, CGEU affiliates shall endeavor to break the culture of silence on member university campuses by encouraging individuals to report instances of harassment or abuse. To that end, future CGEU events should include an ombudsperson, or similar process, for individuals to report any specific issues of harassment within the CGEU community in an equitable and restorative manner.
Be It Further Resolved That CGEU and member organizations are encouraged to develop policies or protocols which clarify how complainants can work with unions to prevent future harassment from occurring, stop harassment which is occurring, seek redress in response to abusive situations, and inform members about other initiatives related to sexual harassment and discrimination on their campuses and wider community.
Be It Further Resolved That CGEU and Member organizations should center the survivor(s) of abuse in a way that recognizes the trauma associated with sexual harassment and violence. Rather than punitive focus with regard to resolving complaints, CGEU suggests the adoption of a transformative justice system that explicitly asks what justice and healing look like for the survivor and the community. This resolution calls for CGEU and member organizations to balance survivor safety and healing with holding anyone causing harm accountable.
Be It Further Resolved That CGEU shall maintain a library of materials that member unions and graduate workers can access. Member unions commit to supporting students and workers on their campuses by providing access to materials which help break the culture of silence related to sexual harassment. This effort should include efforts to educate people and prevent sexual harrassment as well as support responses in the aftermath of sexual violence. Ending sexual violence requires support around reporting sexual violence and support to develop healthy sexual lifestyles.