Hello everyone. I am the Artistic Director of UCBT NY. All of your concerns are valid. We are going to take them all into consideration and we are going to discuss them. Nobody's thoughts/concerns will be ignored. I promise you, nobody that has posted here or on Facebook will be punished for it.
This is not something we can fix overnight. We want do things the best way we can, in fact we have been working on policies/procedures beyond what we have in place already, before this post, because we know that what we have is not enough. And now we know that the community feels the same way. Unfortunately this is not easily solved with a sign on the wall, or adding a sentence to the student handout sheet.
For now, our current system is in place. We have student advocates and other admins you can talk to. Also if you need a friend to make contact first you can do that. What makes you most comfortable while at the same time letting a UCBT advocate/admin know...do that. Even if it has to be a friend, going to a teacher they trust that will go to an advocate. "My friend that I am not going to name was harassed by (specific person). What can we do now to make my friend feel safe and secure when they come forward?" This is an option.
I myself have been sexually harassed (outside UCBT). I understand the fear of reporting it. I understand the shame one feels when it happens. (We know we shouldn't feel ashamed, it is hard not to) I understand the burden. When someone stands up for themselves, they are also standing up for others put in that same situation. That is a lot to shoulder.
I also understand that my position as AD makes it harder for folks to approach me about this. Everyone can say "Don't be scared! She/He are great!" But yeah, that is similar to "Just stand up for yourself." This shit is hard. This shit sucks.
As far as the original post on the boards. It was anonymous, second hand and mostly unspecific information. I PM'd the poster telling them to encourage friends to contact us. If someone is being harassed by the accused we want to know.
The anonymous post on the boards was not ignored, nor taken lightly.
This is not an issue of one person though, this is an issue of a larger society and our smaller community.
We want open dialogue and to hear concerns. This is a great place to discuss. I have been reading them, we will continue to read them.
We also have a Facebook Group we recently started - UCB WORLDWIDE NEW YORK (LA also has one) You can post there and admins will see it. It says secret group, but is is for everyone in the UCBT community, we are still figuring out the rules of it etc. Ask to join, someone will add you!
I ask that you avoid facebook threads with friends with concerns you want the Admin to know about, because we may not see them. And we want to, we want to know what people are feeling. We know nothing is perfect, improvement is necessary. Feel free to have those discussions on friends threads, but then get the concerns to us so we can be aware and discuss.
We have received suggestions via email already, this will help us take positive steps forward.
I wish I could have woken up this morning, snapped my fingers and been able to present you all an instant solution.
I wish I could have woken up this morning, snapped my fingers and made sexual harassment go away.
I truly appreciate all the posts.