‘Expel rapists:’ Survivors testify to sexual violence at Tulane

Lily Mae Lazarus, Managing Editor

Content Warning: The following article contains subject matter pertaining to sexual violence, suicide and specific testimonies of sexual assault, some of which contain graphic detail.

“I want to not be afraid to walk around campus even in broad daylight because all men make me uncomfortable now.” Anonymous (she/her)

In 2017, Tulane University conducted its Climate Assessment detailing pervasive sexual violence within the student body. 33% of women, 15% of men and 29% of gender non-conforming students reported being sexually assaulted since they enrolled at Tulane. Four years later, the new Climate Assessment was postponed, and the sexual violence epidemic on college campuses around the United States continues.

At Tulane University, sexual violence is a common experience for students. (Maggie Pasterz)

From July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, Tulane’s Title IX office responded to 263 sexual misconduct cases, 118 of which involved sexual assault. Thirty of these sexual misconduct cases underwent student conduct hearings, and only nine of the cases were formally resolved.

Of the nine formal resolutions, six individuals were found responsible and three were found not responsible of sexual misconduct. Those found responsible faced educational sanctions, dismissal from on-campus housing or suspension. 

After the disappearance of the controversial Instagram account @boysbeware.tulane, the dissemination of an unverified list of alleged sexual assaulters and an increase in reported druggings, Tulane students mobilized en masse against sexual violence in less than 24 hours. By 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, over 1,300 students joined a GroupMe expressing interest in an anti-sexual assault protest. 

At 9 p.m., more than 500 students gathered outside of the McAlister Auditorium, some holding signs and others huddled in groups. Faculty members stood on the outskirts of the crowd, some looking at their cell phones. University President Mike Fitts was not in attendance, nor has he publicly acknowledged the protest. 

Holding a bullhorn, Sidney Stamm, the protest’s lead organizer and junior at Tulane, addressed the group.

“Boys Beware filled a void we didn’t know we needed so badly until it was gone. This Instagram account should not have had to exist,” Stamm said to the crowd. “While unaffiliated with the well-meaning Instagram that created a safe space for survivors, a Google Doc should not have had to exist. There would be no list if [there] was justice by the Tulane administration.”

Stamm explained that the movement’s demands have yet to be finalized, but they hope to draft them collectively in hopes of holding perpetrators and the university accountable.

Organizers invited survivors of sexual violence to speak to the crowd if they felt comfortable. Five individuals volunteered and gave testimonies, all met with applause and encouragement. 

Stamm addresses the growing crowd outside the McAlister Auditorium. (Maggie Pasterz)

Members of Tulane’s Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education provided trauma-informed and confidential survivor support at Pocket Park during the protest until 11 p.m. Representatives from SAPHE were not available for comment.

The protest was first pitched on Yik Yak, but Stamm says she made it a coherent plan with the help of Associate Professor Lisa Wade. 

“There are known sexual predators still attending school without repercussions,” Stamm said. “The core issue is that women are reporting these individuals, and Tulane is not putting them through the justice system that they claim to have.”

Although Stamm said the university offers beneficial programs, she described them as inadequate.

“This whole issue is a Tulane administration issue. It’s a problem of Tulane not being able to control sexual assault on their campus and within their student body,” fellow organizer Bridget Weldon said.

Weldon said she hopes Tulane takes action and helps mitigate the sexual violence epidemic on campus.

“I’m going to attend the protest because I personally was sexually assaulted at Tulane,” one survivor said before the event.

She said the person who raped her was at the university, but left after she revealed his identity on the @boysbeware.tulane account. She relayed that she was provided with a no-contact order through Tulane, but is reluctant to conduct a formal investigation hearing due to her dissatisfaction with the structure of Tulane’s Title IX office and its reconciliation options. 

“I feel very stuck because my story has been taken down and deleted. No one can see it. Nobody can know,” she said. “The only thing that is outing my rapist’s name is a list that I didn’t consent to his name being put on.”

Julia Broussard, interim assistant provost for Title IX, encouraged students to offer feedback on how to improve the office’s response to sexual violence. She said she hopes survivors will be able to find other outlets to share their stories that are healing and empowering after the loss of @boysbeware.tulane.

She added that survivors can contact the Office of Case Management and Victim Support Services to access support and resources, as well as learn about their options for pursuing accountability for their assailant.

“I hope this presents an opportunity for our community to become better informed on our policies, processes, and resources for sexual misconduct as well as an opportunity for the offices involved in Tulane’s response to sexual misconduct to receive feedback from students about those policies, processes, and resources,” Broussard said.

Protestors listen as victims of sexual assault at Tulane share their stories. (Maggie Pasterz)

Fellow administrators shared similar statements. “Wednesday night I witnessed students’ stories and their call for change,” Laura Osteen, assistant vice president for campus life, said. “I and my colleagues share this vision of ending sexual violence at Tulane and I am committed to our work together to get better.”

Osteen encouraged community members to explore the data and resources provided by Tulane’s All In initiative.

Erica Woodley, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, echoed the sentiments of Osteen. “We look forward to working closely with any student who is committed to ending sexual violence on our campus,” she said.

Woodley acknowledged that her office could improve students’ understanding of available resources and processes at Tulane and clarify the ways students can provide feedback to administrators.

“The pain of sexual violence and harassment is real and impacts our entire community, preventing its occurrence is our top priority,” Mike Strecker, assistant vice president for communications, said.

One week after the protest, Robin Forman, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, sent an email to students regarding sexual misconduct at Tulane. 

“Sexual violence/misconduct is antithetical to everything we stand for at Tulane. It violates our values and the expectations we have for every member of our community,” Forman wrote. Many of those involved in the protest described Forman’s email as “fluff” and unsatisfactory.

Victims of sexual assault who attended the protest had varying experiences. Many said that helped shed light on the extent of the sexual violence problem at Tulane.

“While the circumstances that led to the protest are unfortunate, these kinds of conversations and movements have been sorely needed on this campus for years,” one sexual assault survivor said. “It made me feel heard and validated for the first time in 3.5 years, especially because I still to this day question whether what happened to me was really assault.”

Other survivors of sexual violence agreed that they felt acknowledged during the protest. However, some said they left early due to retraumatization and the presence of men at the event. Many said they are concerned Tulane will not take concrete steps to provide justice for victims and protect students from sexual violence. 

“A safe campus is the bare minimum of what any university should be providing,” one victim said. “The mere presence of predators risks the safety of every individual.”

Students hold homemade signs calling for increased accountability. (Maggie Pasterz)

Freshman Annika Vanderspek cited a lack of accountability or university action regarding drugging and roofies. “Even though Tulane sent an email out addressing it, the message primarily focused on what women and potential victims can do to protect themselves rather than actually preventing it from happening in the first place and holding the institutions and individuals that are complacent in it and perpetuating it accountable,” said Vanderspek.

Other sexual violence victims mentioned the need for improved consent education and more coverage of what classifies as sexual assault. “I believe my assaulter believed that my bodily autonomy was optional, while his pleasure was mandatory,” one survivor said.

Sexual violence is a common experience on Tulane’s campus. In lieu of the university postponing the 2021-22 Climate Survey, featured are a collection of personal testimonies from survivors whose stories remain unheard.

“In March of 2021, a fellow student raped me in my room in Sharp Hall. That night, we attended a mixer, and officially met for the first time. I knew who he was due to his charismatic persona and consistent involvement in my old dorm building; he appeared to be trusted and liked by all. 

As the night developed and I drank more, I wanted to go home. He began flirting with me inside, but I thought nothing of it because of his obvious popularity and likeability. While trying to call a Lyft, he grabbed my waist and told me I could go in his Uber. I sat on the curb and waited for the car to come, before he sat beside me and grabbed me again. He continued to try and finger me over my pants, and would only stop when I kissed him back. I remember pulling away, turning my head, and scooting over only to be reclaimed by his hands. 

The minutes slurred and our Uber appeared. Immediately, he grabbed my legs and brought them on top of his, to which the driver quickly objected. I remember thanking my angels for that driver, and I was eager to get back to campus. 

I do not remember the rest of the car ride, getting dropped off on Magnolia St., tapping in at the front desk, taking the elevator, or getting in my room. 

I know I was laying on my bed, and when I looked up he was in his boxers. I exhaled, “Can you please wear a condom?” to which he answered “No. I’m f–cking you raw.” I exited consciousness at this point, and I am forever grateful for not remembering all the details. 

The first snapshot memory I have is of being lifted from my bed to my floor, where he placed me to f–ck me. 

My next moment of consciousness was when I was looking out of my Sharp window with a blinding reflection of light from behind me. It took me moments to process that he was recording me. While I was not facing him, I swatted my hand back, said “no,” said “stop” and slipped away again. 

I remember telling him I was not on birth control and I did not have an IUD. I do not remember it happening, but I know he finished inside of me twice and tried for a third time. The next morning, he venmoed me $25 for a Plan B. 

Following panic attacks and debilitating anxiety last semester, I approached the president of my sorority, who reached out to the president of his fraternity. I shared my story and they listened. They both embodied compassion, understanding, and support. About a week later, I heard he was kicked out of his fraternity, and a few weeks later, he left campus. 

The president of his fraternity was capable of handling what was in his control in the situation, and prioritized a safer and comfortable atmosphere. Tulane refuses to enact tangible consequences and provide relief of my suffocation. 

My rapist returned to campus this year, and held a leadership position on campus. For some freshman, he will always be the first person on the Tulane campus they have met. Not only is he evading punishment, but he is also being rewarded with opportunity and understanding dependent on his family’s donations and involvement. 

Protecting the predator has emerged as a theme at Tulane, and at a school priding itself on the strength of interpersonal relationships between staff and students, the performance of listening is heartbreaking. 

I am stripped of being comfortable and feeling safe on campus, making every excursion anxiety-ridden and laser-focused on not seeing him, him not seeing me, and me not getting anywhere close to him. 

Despite my involvement with my case manager and my active no-contact order, I am attending an institution aware of the inhumanities committed against me and is unwilling to help me. Tulane’s silence compromises my wellbeing, along with the whole community, for the preservation of my rapist’s.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“The football team’s rape culture has destroyed my Tulane experience. My freshman year, a football player sexually assaulted me. I didn’t know it was assault then, but I knew he was an asshole, so I told him not to talk to me anymore. He started stalking me. 

To write everything he has done would require Herculean effort, but the worst instance of his harassment was when he tried to get a guy he thought I liked to gang rape a drunk girl, although it was described to me as “running a train.” Nobody around me realized, or wanted to realize, how serious it was. So when I was contacted about working for the athletic department near the end of my freshman year, people told me to take it because I shouldn’t let his actions hold me from a cool job. 

This job introduced me to extreme workplace sexual harassment. On and off the clock, I dealt with unwanted touching and comments from both football players and coaches. Though my bosses never stood up for me, I am sure they noticed because they told me I could no longer wear leggings to work, and provided me with size large men’s clothes as a new uniform. No other girl I worked with experienced this. 

Big clothes didn’t stop the harassment, and I formally reported it to my bosses, the athletic department, and Title IX midway through my sophomore year. The “help” they offered was useless, and I quit showing up to work. My bosses never reached out to see if I was okay and deleted me from the work group chat. 

Two months later, a football player who I liked and thought was a good friend sexually assaulted me twice when I was black out drunk. I still remember almost nothing from the encounters. 

Sophomore year ended, junior year began, now both of my assaulters were harassing me, and my PTSD was so bad I ended up hospitalized for suicidal ideation. At the hospital, I finally admitted the freshman year assault to the police. Too much time had passed for any real evidence to be collected, but upon witnessing my assaulter’s behavior during the investigation, they recommended seeking a restraining order. I didn’t because I could not handle seeing him in court. I cannot wait to graduate and never see him again.

I have not spoken about this publicly before because I am not a perfect victim. Until my hospital stay, I continued dating football players, going to their parties, studying with them, and having strong friendships with them. This is the case with many Black women at Tulane who have been assaulted by players, which is a lot of us. The Black community is small and they are hard to avoid. 

Over the years, I did speak privately with players about their teammates’ actions. And they would always admit they were predators, but never treated them differently. These boys, even the “nice ones” – they are who I called friends, know that their teammates are rapists and refuse to hold them accountable in any way. 

As more women come forward about their abuse by the Tulane football team, I want every player, every coach and every staffer who has refused to confront their actions to know that they are responsible. No amount of church, bible study and pre-game prayers will reconcile you from the lies you tell yourselves.”

  • Anonymous (she/they)

“I was sexually assaulted about a month and a half ago outside of the Boot and I decided not to report the guy because I couldn’t emotionally handle the process. But, I immediately was in contact with Case Management and [Victim Support Services] who reached out to my teachers and connected with a therapist at Tulane. Case Management was fine and mentioned how I could drop out of college for the semester and I so badly wanted to do that.

I’ve never felt so low, but I knew I had to keep pushing through. It’s so hard being on campus and being on high alert all the time, making sure I don’t run into him. I was very disappointed with the counseling services at Tulane though. I went there because I was so depressed and after meeting with my therapist three times, she told me she could tell I was almost back to normal. She didn’t realize I had been having suicidal thoughts a few days before.

I tried to bring the conversation back to my assault and when I told her I bled for 4 days after, she interrupted me and said “Wait you bled? Was it your first time?” To which I answered “no.” And she continued to say that he must have been really inexperienced with sex and started talking about porn. I had never felt so invalidated. I will not be going back to her. 

All I can say is I am thankful that this happened a month after my assault, so that I had processed enough of it to be secure with my emotions and memory. I was very disappointed in Tulane’s counseling services and am now trying to find a new therapist outside of Tulane.” 

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was raped at home in Minnesota a week after my mom died, a week before I came back to New Orleans for Junior year. I was supposed to go abroad, but last minute had to find housing in New Orleans due to COVID-19, and ended up with a random roommate. Her boyfriend was not a Tulane Student and was older, and his older brother came over often and had the code to access our house. 

One night mid-semester, he came over to our house after the bar drunk, and I happened to be there after a small party at my friends house. He kissed me and I went with it because it was easier than saying no, and I was scared. I excused myself to go to bed, and in the early hours of the morning, while I was sleeping, he snuck into my room and raped me when I was half asleep. I did not realize what had happened until the next morning when I woke up and he was gone. 

My roommate, who still goes to Tulane, refused to warn her future roommates about him, and I was too scared to report to police despite getting a forensic report. I still have sleep paralysis incidents where I wake up half awake convinced someone is on top of me, and sleeping feeling secure has been hard ever since.

Since he was not a student and it occurred off campus, I was not able to report it to the university. 

I will say in general my experience reporting at Tulane, which I never officially did because both of my assaults were off campus. There is minimal support for victims, both emotionally and academically. There is no true support group or office specifically for those who experienced assault, and Tulane actively suppresses survivor’s stories. The reporting form also only considers assault on campus with both involved being students, unless that has changed as of late, which excludes many people’s experiences including my own.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was out at TJ Quills with my friends and we had a little too much to drink. I was dancing with my friend when this man, a junior, approached us and started dancing with us. He was able to get us to go to the Boot with him because neither my friend nor I could make any coherent decisions at the time. 

He begged us to go home with him and wouldn’t take no for an answer. My friend and I both knew we didn’t want sex, but he was able to get us into his off-campus house and into his bedroom. When we got there, he kept begging us to have sex with him, but neither of us wanted to. 

He kept slapping my friend and I across the face. I lost hearing in one of my ears for a few days afterwards. He tried to choke me out, I almost passed out but my friend was able to get him off of me. He ended up trying to force our clothes off, but eventually gave up to get water and then my friend and I made a run for it. 

When I got home, I realized I had bruising all over my neck from how hard he was choking me. I couldn’t hear for days and I was scared to see him on campus. 

I never reported it because no one in the administration would have believed me.”

  • Anonymous (they/them)

“I was raped in the Irby dorm on Feb. 12, 2021. I was confused and deeply afraid. I was locked within the room and forced to complete sexual actions while I sobbed. He got off on the crying. 

I resorted to self destructing for the remainder of the semester and failed almost all of my classes. I was broken. I felt like a shell of a human. 

I had to apply for medical withdrawal from spring and fall semester and I still do not know if the spring was approved. This may impact my entire transcript, scholarship, internship opportunities, graduate school opportunities, and job opportunities. 

I am still repairing the damage that he caused. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and experience flashbacks, panic attacks, paranoia, and [severe] nightmares. I was sunken so deeply into depression that I had to enter a partial hospitalization program this summer. I am partaking in EMDR therapy, which is emotionally taxing. 

I rarely leave my home because I fear for my safety. Needless to say, this man [f––-] up my life and I can’t accept it most days.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was raped and physically assaulted at a Sigma Chi party in January 2021 and decided not to go ahead with the conduct process. I had to go to the emergency room, had a moderately bad concussion, and still have scars on my face and hands from it. I thought that I had gotten over it, but I have been continually re-traumatized by Tulane’s poor handling of cases like my own. 

I went to Case Management and all they did was tell me the options I had outside of them. I didn’t want to have to keep retelling the story of an event that was that traumatic. I felt like I was robbed of autonomy and given poor choices by Campus Health.

Tulane proceeded to, even while knowing that sexual assault is endemic on this campus, sent out “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller which explicitly details her attack. They sent it out with fun little stickers and no trigger warning. 

I have to walk around campus every day not seeing my assailant, but seeing a multitude of men who have been accused, some of whom have even gone through the conduct process, shake hands with Fitts and hold leadership positions.” 

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was assaulted several times by the same perpetrator during my first month of freshman year. The very first time we met, he shoved his hands up my skirt at the Boot from behind and my group still encouraged me to go home with him because this was just “regular Tulane hook up culture” and I was lucky for having an opportunity to get laid. 

We ended up hooking up several times over the next couple weeks. Not every time was non-consensual. But when we would occasionally have sleepovers I would wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning with him inside me or my underwear off. 

These were the first times sex had ever hurt for me and the first times I had felt extremely uneasy about sex. This was my first hook up experience at Tulane, and my first sexual experience with anyone other than my ex-boyfriend from high school. I didn’t understand what was acceptable, what was consensual and what wasn’t, and what exactly had happened until months later. I thought this is what normal college hook ups are. 

He ended up having to leave Tulane because of his drug abuse and associated academic issues. I feel grateful that I don’t have to encounter him on or off campus ever again but I know so many Tulane women are not as lucky. 

I never reported the incident because by the time I realized this was assault, I thought too much time has passed and that there was no point in pursuing an allegation that would reap no consequences.”

  • Anonymous (she/her) 

“When I was a freshman, I hung out with my friend and her boyfriend. All of our female friends were there and her boyfriend’s upperclassmen friends. We wanted to go back to Sharp, but it was cold and the guys were already going to a party. One of them offered to drive us. 

We all loaded into his car and I sat on the lap of an upperclassman whose name I had already forgotten. Everyone was sitting on each other’s laps, so I didn’t think it was that weird and I didn’t want my other female friends to have to sit on a random guys lap. 

But during that short ride, the man whose name I did not know stuck his fingers inside of me. He wouldn’t remove them, even when I pushed his hand away and started tearing up. The worst part is that it happened right in front of all my friends and none of them noticed.”

  • Anonymous (she/they) 

“I was going through a really bad time and sought comfort in my close guy friend. I trusted him and thought he could never hurt me. I got drunk at his place, and before I knew what was happening, he had pushed me against the wall and pulled my pants down. 

He didn’t use protection and I remember thinking over and over that this couldn’t be happening. Not him and not to me. After he finished he told me to pull my pants up or else they’d get dirty on the ground. I was in shock and couldn’t believe that it had happened.

The next morning, I woke up and didn’t remember anything. I’ve been repressing this memory for months and have only recently put the pieces together. 

I have been so angry at myself for not fighting. I should have screamed and kicked and stood up for myself, but I was like a rag doll. I still get panic attacks when I try to remember the whole night.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I don’t want to mention his name due to my personal safety and the fact that I have been harassed in the past for sharing my experience. But, he assaulted me and I told people and I was open about it. 

I told some of my “friends” at the time about it and warned them to stay away. They clearly knew about his behavior and still decided to hang out with him and associate themselves with him. They thought it would make me feel better to exclude me when he was over, because he had to be there because they thought he was cool.

I reported him to the school and I believe that my “friends” told him about it and he reached out to me and basically gaslighted me. I literally wanted to transfer because of this whole situation. My assaulter reaching out to me happened during Hurricane Ida break and I thought everybody would outcast me once I came back to Tulane.

I want Tulane to acknowledge the fact that they have assaulters on campus with multiple allegations and try and at least take some course of action against these people.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was hooking up with a guy my freshman year. It began consensually and as we were about to have sex I asked him to use a condom. He said no and ignored me even though I asked him upwards of ten times and continued to have unprotected sex with me while I was begging him to use a condom. I protested for probably around five minutes until I just let it happen. 

I was so freaked out that he wouldn’t stop to put on a condom and ran home to my dorm crying after we finished.  

He was in one of my classes and continued to try to talk to me on the daily like nothing was wrong, and I genuinely think he saw nothing wrong with it.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“​​A boy in Greek life who has now been kicked out of the fraternity, raped me on my first night back to New Orleans. We had had consensual sex before but this time he was persistent that we have anal. 

The sex we had was always pretty aggressive but this time it felt different. He slapped my face to which I said “no” in fear, beginning to get a weird feeling about what might happen next, but still not at this point expecting to be raped. 

I continued to say “no” to having anal and said it multiple times very firmly. My hands were then handcuffed behind my back when he put it in my butt. 

I screamed and yelled at him to get the fuck out of my house to which he looked surprised. I threw his clothes and shoes outside of my bedroom door and slammed it shut in fear. A few days later when I got a case manager I found out he was supposed to be in one of my business classes. I explained everything to my case manager and felt very supported by her and she helped me get him removed from the class and his fraternity. 

I also reported it to my sorority president who talked to his fraternity president who then put him on social probation. He broke his social probation the next night. The president reassessed the situation and he then got removed from the fraternity. 

My case manager was supportive of me moving forward with the case. But, when she explained that I had to have proof and a formal interview with a campus official, I was very hesitant. I didn’t have concrete evidence. 

My one roommate hearing me scream and a text I had from the boy that said “will you drop the charges if I drop the class” was the only evidence I had, which she said would probably not be enough to get him kicked out of school. 

Throughout the semester I have only seen him once when I was out at an event downtown and it was triggering, it ruined my night and I instantly wanted to go home. Having not seen him before that night, he was pretty “out of sight, out of mind,” which had helped me heal. But, after that, the thoughts have reoccurred.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I had been talking to this guy some girls on my floor were friends with. We went back together after a party and I told him that I did not want to have sex, but he coerced me into doing it. He was nice and continued to give me attention, so I overlooked it.

It continued to happen where I would say I did not want to have sex with him, but he would push my hands and head down, encouraging and making me feel guilty for not doing what I was not comfortable with, so I did it. 

I later learned he had sexually assaulted two other girls after I had cut off all communication with him.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I did not know what to do the day after my assault, so I called the CAPS line. After reading online that I could get an emergency same day appointment, I asked for that and said it was about an assault. A few hours later that day, I went on a Zoom and was met with a male counselor to do an “intake.” It wasn’t even an emergency counseling meeting. It was just to get background information for a CAPS appointment that I would have three weeks later. 

When setting up this appointment, he set me up with a man and I said “I’d be more comfortable speaking with a woman.” He said “May I ask why? We’re all professionals.” I had just told him that I was raped by a man the day before, while crying. 

I did report his name to Tulane and opted for them just to have a conversation with him because I didn’t want to have an investigation. After, I was told how the conversation went and the Head of Conduct told me “He had tears in his eyes and was genuinely sorry.” Tulane rapists aren’t sorry they did anything, they’re sorry to be caught and exposed.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“Freshman year, a boy came back to my dorm with me. Throughout the whole night, he was so sweet and respectful. He was not excessively touchy, he gave me personal space and he spoke to me with respect. 

When we were alone in my room, his entire demeanor changed and he began pushing me to do things I didn’t want to do. I told him I wouldn’t have sex without a condom, knowing he didn’t have one with him But, he ran outside of the room to find a condom dispenser, came back and continued to push and beg. 

He was stronger than me, was friends with my friends and I was scared of the retaliation of saying “no,” so I let it happen. Halfway through, I was so physically uncomfortable and mentally terrified that I told him to stop. He pulled out and a second later tried to re-enter. 

I had to cover myself with both hands and eventually physically fight him off of me. It resulted in me giving him a bloody nose, so he left immediately. 

The worst thing was that afterwards he texted me like nothing happened, saying “I had fun, let’s do it again.” I was disgusted and terrified, but I swallowed those feelings and told no one. He is now well known as a repeat offender. 

I am someone who is strong and independent, but that boy whittled me down to nothing. I am an advocate, but that assault took away my power and, as a result, other women were victimized. I am a senior now and he has still known no consequence. 

I only hope he is so embarrassed and disgusted with himself that he never looks at a woman again. Thank you for making this form and giving me a voice.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I was drugged in the French Quarter early in the semester. It caused me to stay in the ER overnight. My friends called Tulane EMS and were told they weren’t working that night, even though we had made it back to Loyola. We now know this to be false.

The police fabricated a report stating I had downed [an] entire bottle of vodka lemonade myself which is also false, and NOLA EMS denied my friends the right to know where I was being taken and if they could come with me. 

The ER refused to tell me what test they ran on me. I have hospital and ER work experience and woke up with an IV in my arm and no bag attached to it. There was blood in the tube, indicating they took a blood sample. They refused to tell me what they had in my IV and told me that I was just having an acute alcohol intoxication. 

I had only drunk about 3 sips of alcohol at roughly 5 pm. It was 10:30 pm when I was taken to the hospital. My ER report stated that no BAC or tox screen was done, even though I had been [adamant] the entire night in the ER and ambulance that I was drugged. 

Later in the week, I had a meeting with the Dean of Students. She told me I was lying and that that she had heard this story “hundreds of times over her 9 years and never once believed it” and that I probably just had way [too] much to drink. She nearly expelled me, but after telling her my future plans she decided not to. Apparently I was too much of an asset to Tulane. She called my dad and practically worshiped me to him stating I was one of the most endearing and excellent students she had ever met. 

This system of victim blaming and denial by Tulane, coupled with the incompetence of NOPD, hospitals and EMS services, puts our students in physical danger as well as mental danger. I’m still shaken up by it and have struggled to tell myself that it was in fact not my fault. Tulane and New Orleans as a whole needs to change.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“Last semester, my sense of safety and security was completely flipped upside down. As I was showering, an unknown intruder broke into my home. I was blaring Britney Spears and practicing self care when I looked over and saw an unknown person staring at me. I was naked with nothing in my hands or at arms reach. I screamed, he lunged towards me and grabbed me. I sprinted backwards and fell. 

These are the things you see in horror movies, never imagining how it could happen in real life. Thankfully, my body took over and I screamed, kicked, punched, the man staring into my eyes trying to force himself onto me. I scratched him so hard that he walked right out the front door. Up to this point, there is nothing an institution could have done to protect me from this random intruder, as I was living off campus. 

Within seconds, I grabbed my cell phone and called TUPD because I rationalized this force could reach my home before NOPD and could assist me further. Shaking and crying, I told the TUPD ‘officer’ a timeline of events, giving them a fresh recollection of the intruder in detail. He promised me NOPD would show up soon. I waited and they never came. 

Two days later, after NOPD never showed and TUPD never followed up, I called again. I wanted to see what the next steps were in my case. An officer came to my home, I had to retell my traumatizing experience again. A few days passed and nothing ever came of it.

After these events, I was struggling with PTSD and high anxiety, so I contacted a case manager through Tulane, as I was more concerned about my penalties of missing class over my own safety. During our session, she looked at me with a blank expression stating “I am so sorry, but there is no record of this report.”

A sorority sister of mine reached out as a similar situation happened to one of her friends, and she wanted to know if this intruder was the same man who attacked me. It was the same man. I was shocked. 

I reached out to Tulane again, and got nothing. Why wouldn’t Tulane want to find the man who did this? I called TUPD again, and my case manager reached out. A few days later, still nothing from Tulane. There was zero response from Tulane until my case manager went directly to the Dean of Students. This was three weeks after the assault took place. 

Finally, the head of TUPD came over with three officers. Again, I was asked to recount the events that took place in intense detail. Only after this was NOPD [ever] contacted. Ever since NOPD took the case, the man has been found, arrested and awaiting trial. As someone who dreamed of attending Tulane, and took out student loans to be able to attend, it is so disheartening to know that my case is only one of hundreds. 

The University should be held accountable for the lack of protection, care, and downright laziness they have had in the protection of their students.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“When I was a freshman, I was super innocent in terms of sexual experiences. I had my first kiss the summer before freshman year and was slowly learning more things and wanted to lose my virginity. 

I had met a kid at the Hyatt and thought he was cute. I started to hang out with him a bit more and we ended up hooking up one night. I told him I was a virgin and he said “well you might as well lose it at some point, why not now?” 

We tried to have sex and I’m so grateful it didn’t work because the situation makes me feel so disgusting and if he had been my first, I think I would feel much more shame for letting someone control me like that than I do now. 

He did manipulate me and coerce me by saying that. But, I deal with it differently since there was no real penetration. The whole situation disgusts me to this day.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“I am a freshman at Tulane. I have been here for a little over three months and I am already considering transferring. The increased conversation around sexual assault at Tulane has been a step in the right direction, but I think it is important for us to address the administration’s role and what institutional changes need to be made. 

In late August, like many other students, I decided to go to bar. TJ Quills to be precise. I had two drinks, and immediately started feeling strange. I passed out near the bathroom, but started feeling a little more normal after a few minutes. Then, on the dance floor, I realized I couldn’t move my arms. 

My friends managed to get me home, but the 15 minute walk took an hour, with me falling multiple times and having to be lifted up steps. I didn’t feel drunk, just disconnected from my body. I could think, but I couldn’t talk. I finally made it back to my room and became almost completely paralyzed. It took me 20 minutes to move my hand a few inches to my phone. I eventually decided to call TEMS. I was almost completely sure at this point I had been drugged. 

The police came with TEMS, I assumed because a crime had been committed against me. I asked them multiple times if my report would be anonymous and the TEMS workers told me “TEMS is completely anonymous.” What they left out was that anything I said to TUPD, who were right next to me while trying to explain my symptoms, would not be. In fact, that report was not only given to the school, but also read word for word to my parents, so specifically that my dad cited the exact drink I had been given. 

Those same police later called my friends and asked them “how much I had really had to drink.” When I arrived at the hospital, my BAC was 0.03. For context, that is the equivalent of one drink over an hour and well under the driving limit of 0.08. As I was trying to leave the building, I was stopped by the security at the front, who made me tell them exactly what had happened to me before they would let me leave the building despite being confused and strapped down to a stretcher. 

The hospital was traumatic and I was left with deep bruising from multiple failed IV’s because I could not move my hands or arms enough for them to get it in. Around 3 am, I finally made it back only to be met with the front desk worker asking me “Had a little too much fun tonight?” I woke up the next day hoping to put this all behind me. 

Instead, I received multiple angry emails from the Dean of Students because the meeting times she had offered me were during class on my first week and during a therapy appointment I desperately needed. 

When we finally met, I had hoped I would be able to explain what had happened to me, but instead I was told that I needed to take responsibility for my part in this because I was drinking underage. I was also forced to relive every single detail of what happened from beginning to end.

I was also told that 70% of girls who enter her office say they’ve been drugged and most are lying. She also initially refused to look at the doctors notes saying I was most likely drugged and said she didn’t have time to have this meeting after my drug test results were back. 

Instead of being offered support, I was blamed and forced to take an online alcohol education course. Immediately after leaving her office, I broke down in tears. 

The only other interaction I’ve had was some frustrated emails from her about how I never received the alcohol education course. I again decided to move on until this week when TJ Quills was raided, and the repeated drugging of multiple people was in the news. 

Tulane sent out an email with quotes such as “No one who is victimized in these cases is at fault.” and “As members of the Tulane community, we take care of each other.” I have discovered that this is not true. 

But, Tulane’s lack of regard for student’s safety doesn’t stop there. I recently found out that the boy they hoped to move into our floor was leaving his dorm because of multiple sexual assault allegations. Could he not have been moved to an all boys floor at a minimum, while this situation is sorted out? This is after a boy broke into a girls room and attempted to assault her early on in my time here. 

I know colleges have a sexual assault problem, but coming to Tulane I was hopeful they were making steps to support victims. One of our orientation activities was to attend a Zoom seminar on consent. While it was going, I heard music blasting and boys talking in the hallway while it played on their computer in the other room. Even worse, questions that allowed participation had multiple lewd and inappropriate responses. 

As someone who has previously been a victim of sexual assault, I had hoped I would be supported here. Instead, I have felt revictimized and unsafe time and time again. Something needs to change, or I and many other women are no longer going to be safe and comfortable attending this school. 

TEMS needs to have a different process for roofie/sexual assault victims, where they meet with a counselor instead of the dean of students. Furthermore, Tulane needs to move students accused of sexual misconduct onto a single gender floor and a single dorm. Until these changes are made, it is going to be impossible for victims to feel safe here.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

“It was extremely disheartening to see so many comments [on Yik Yak] backing up those who were accused. I saw something that word for word read “if she’s unconscious, it’s fine.”

I think there is some narrative people believe about knowing someone for a long time and being super close with them means they cannot be capable of sexual assault, when in reality, simply because you have known them and are friends with them does not mean they didn’t do anything.  My story is the epitome of that, as I knew my assaulter and was friends with him for years prior.

I want to voice my opinion on the idea circulating of “don’t blame the frat blame the one who did it.” While I’m sure not all fraternities are like this, there’s an overwhelming culture of drugging at parties here, which can largely impact sexual assault happening.”

  • Anonymous (she/her)

Resources are available for Tulane students who are victims of sexual violence. Contact Sexual Assault Peer Hotline and Education‘s 24/7 Peer Run Hotline at 504-654-9543 if you need help. 

Tulane Emergency Medical Services can be reached at 504-865-5911. TEMS is a free, student-run service. In addition, Tulane University Police Department’s non-emergency Uptown number is 504-865-5381.

You can also reach out to Case Management and Victim Support Services at 504-314-2160 and they can offer support and help you file a report.

RAINN: Rape Abuse + Incest National Network provides resources that are LGBTQ+ inclusive and can be reached at 800-656-4673.

For Tulane students in need of metal health support, contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 504-314-2277. The Counseling Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday. The Counseling Center provides mental health counseling and other related services. 

Students in need of additional support can contact the Residential Adviser on call in their residence hall. Students may also call the on-call Case Manager at 504-920-9900.

For LGBTQ+ students, the Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to those under 25 and can be reached at 866-488-7386.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found at https://hr.tulane.edu/benefits/employee-assistance-program.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.

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