Monday, April 5, 2010

1st Admin Meeting Update

Plan A met with University administrators last Tuesday to discuss the main issues of our campaign. The objectives that we hope to achieve will require multiple meetings, and we are glad that the administration is prioritizing the health of its students by scheduling another meeting with us sometime this week.

As Dr. Olson's letter from last Friday showed, the administration is taking steps to review and improve its policies concerning care for survivors of sexual assault. Plan A has also been promised a space in the upcoming meeting to discuss these changes. We are very happy to be involved and to see that changes are being made, and we hope to see similar changes in the coming weeks regarding the other issues we have brought forward.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recap: Weekend Actions

Over the past two months, Plan A has sent President DeGioia two letters outlining our campaign demands; the most recent of which we delivered on Thursday, March 4th after a speak-out in Red Square. President DeGioia has never directly responded to any of our letters, and has not given us a meeting time to discuss these issues with him or other administrators. We sent letters, short notes, and emails requesting a meeting during the week of March 15, and held a call-in/email-in day to try to get his office to respond on March 23. He still refused to respond.

We held a picket on Friday afternoon (March 26) in Healy Circle to actively advocate for a meeting with President DeGioia about the issues we have raised. That evening we received a letter from Todd Olson which did not address most of our issues, repeated outdated facts, and did not respond to our request for a meeting.

On Saturday at noon, three Plan A students chained themselves to the statue of John Carroll, Georgetown's founder, with tape over their mouths and a sign that read, "President DeGioia: Take the tape off our mouths and the chains off our bodies." The message is simple: Georgetown's policies are chaining us to the past and silencing our ideas.

Students rallied around the statue in Healy Circle to show their support of Plan A. Student leaders fromH*yas for Choice, United Feminists, MEChA, NAACP, Georgetown Solidarity, and GU Men Creating Change spoke about why they have joined the Plan A coalition for reproductive justice. Students joined in chants and held signs showing their support of Plan A and demanding that Georgetown change its policies.

After requests from Public Safety to quiet down, we engaged in a silent action where students sat around the statue to show their support of the chained students and Plan A's cause. After an hour, most students left, but the students chained to the statue remained. We sent President DeGioia an email and informed University administrators that they had an 8:00pm deadline to respond to our letters and engage in true dialogue.

Around 7:30, a University administrator delivered a letter to the protesters that promised Plan A students a meeting to discuss their concerns with administrators. In a show of good faith and commitment to dialogue with the University, the chained students symbolically unchained themselves after almost 8 long hours.

We are very much looking forward to our meeting. Check back later this week to find out how it went!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Action in Red Square - Photos!

Hey everyone!

Here are some updates about what's been going on with the Plan A Campaign!

Yesterday, we hosted a theater event in Red Square to draw the Georgetown community's attention to the fact that, while over a month has passed since Plan A sent our first letter of concern to President DeGioia with regard to the way Georgetown approaches reproductive justice and sexual health, we have yet to receive any correspondence directly from him. We got a vague and essentially un-responsive letter from Todd Olson after we delivered our first letter on February 5, and President DeGioia has not yet scheduled a meeting with us. His failure to address reproductive justice in a genuine way is quite clearly a continuation of Georgetown's general protocol of ignoring and neglecting sexual health issues, but it is still disappointing to see such a blatant lack of engagement on President DeGioia's part when our attempts to open a dialogue have been so direct.

To show him that we have not forgotten about our request, several students from Plan A gathered in Red Square to raise awareness about the campaign, to let people know that the university has not responded to our questions and concerns, and to send yet another message to President DeGioia that, although he refuses to respond to us, we are continuing to gather support and move forward.

Our skit had a St. Patrick's Day theme, and its goal was to highlight the ways that Georgetown's policies around sexual health are negatively impacting the lives of students on campus. We delivered a pot of condoms to the president with a message that said, "Doesn't it seem backwards that students are providing their president with sexual health resources? Student health shouldn't be left to luck." We had a great turnout, and were able to elicit a lot of interest from students and other passers-by!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patty's Day Extravaganza!

Join Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice from 12:55-1:15 on St. Patty's Day in Red Square for a leprechaun-themed skit about access to sexual health information and materials.

Leprechaun Jack O'Gioia will be there with the ever elusive pot of condoms. After the skit we'll be delivering a note to Jack DeGioia reminding him that we are STILL WAITING for a response to our letter.

If you can't make it to the skit, write a note to DeGioia letting him know that you want a response to our letter. You can email his
office ( or write out a note and deliver it.

Stay tuned tomorrow for note templates!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Students supporting the Plan A: Students for Reproductive Justice gathered on Thursday in Red Square to hold a Speak Out to tell other Hoyas in their own words what Plan A is about. At the Speak Out, Plan A described its mission and educated community members about Georgetown's current policies concerning access, information, free speech, and the sexual health of Georgetown students.

Speakers supporting the Plan A campaign told personal stories of things that have taken place at the university that describe the way that Georgetown's policies around reproductive justice and free speech have negatively impacted their experiences at Georgetown University.

After the Speak-out, students marched silently, to emphasize the silencing of pro-choice voices at this university, to the President's Office to deliver a response letter to President DeGioia and a tape-recorder with personal stories of Georgetown students, including one from a student who called Georgetown University Hospital after her friend had been raped.

After marching into Healy, students were told by DeGioia's executive assistant that he was out of town. The students of Plan A waited until DeGioia's Chief of Staff, Erik Smulson, came out to meet them, and they delivered the letter and the tape-recorder.

Although this University has silenced this discourse up to this point, students will no longer be silent about their sexual health and free speech.

Photography by David S.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Speak-Out Tomorrow in Red Square

Come Join Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice at a Speak-out tomorrow in Red Square from 12:55-1:30!

1-Learn more about what Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice is and what we're doing at Georgetown.

2-Hear personal stories from students whose lives have been negatively affected by Georgetown's policies.

3-Sign the petition!

4- Join us in delivering a letter to President DeGioia.

Come for just 15 minutes between classes or stay for the whole time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rape Kits: Why Plan A Cares

I am a Georgetown student who has experienced Georgetown University Hospital’s response to rape situations. I made an urgent call to the Georgetown University Hospital seeking information about the availability of rape kits. I explained to the woman who answered the phone that my friend had been raped and I was calling on her behalf in search of the resources she needed. When I asked if my friend could get a rape kit at Georgetown University Hospital, I was confronted with a harsh reality that no rape survivor should have to face. I will describe Georgetown University Hospital policies through my personal experience with this call and I hope this demonstrates that the current state of affairs is not only inadequate but disgraceful for a university hospital and a grave threat to women’s health.

The first woman who answered the phone told me that I could not get a rape kit at the Georgetown Hospital. When I explained the urgency of my friend’s situation, she suggested that I try the George Washington Hospital. After I insisted on speaking with someone else who could give me more information, I was put on hold for well over five minutes. I was astounded that I was forced to wait for that length of time right after I had explained that my friend had been raped and was seeking emergency response. When another woman came on the line, she told me that my friend would have to go to the Washington Hospital Center in order to have access to a rape kit. She did not tell me what Georgetown Hospital could do for my friend until I explicitly asked her what resources Georgetown Hospital had for rape survivors. She explained that a survivor could be medically screened but that it would not include a rape kit. This is common procedure for most university hospitals in the District of Columbia, as the Washington Hospital Center serves as the only place where rape kits are administered. However, when I told the woman that my friend needed help getting to the Washington Hospital Center (map shown below), she casually suggested that we take a taxi.

View Larger Map

This suggestion revealed what Plan A finds most problematic about Georgetown University Hospital’s services for rape survivors. Plan A is pointing out not only that the university does not carry rape kits, but also that it provides no services for its students to access them elsewhere. It is unconscionable to expect rape survivors to get into a taxi and ride over to an unfamiliar hospital alone. Not only does this require the student to incur the expenses of transportation to an alternate location, but it also obliges a traumatized rape survivor to put themselves into an unsafe environment without any support from the university. I expressed these concerns to the woman from the hospital and asked if there were any other options. She explained that my friend could be transported to the Washington Hospital Center by MedStar (the company that owns Georgetown Hospital). This, once again, places tremendous financial burden on rape survivors and unquestionably will discourage many survivors from accessing essential resources like rape kits and comprehensive post-trauma care.

In order to lift these burdens from access to critical health services, the Georgetown administration must advocate on behalf of its students. It must provide free transportation to and from the Washington Hospital Center in order to facilitate safe and uninhibited access to rape kits. Anything less is an affront to the health and safety of rape survivors. Plan A also believes that the University should actively distribute information about steps to accessing services for sexual assault and rape survivors. It is the University’s responsibility to ensure that this information is made public, explicit and well-circulated.