The UMKC Student Body Is Rising Up! Our Sexual Assault Campaign To Date!

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Following our call for students to take on rape culture ourselves, independent UMKC students have posted their own flyers about Marc Casanovas, known (attempted) rapist! In spite of the administration’s increasingly desperate efforts to suppress and deny the severity of sexual assault on campus, the level of discussion and action on this matter on campus is at an all time high, thanks to our efforts and more importantly, the student body itself!

Our sexual assault campaign began last spring when, a student was raped in her dorms on February 23. The UMKC administration failed to put out an alert and claimed that it was “not a security concern”. In response, we protested with other organizations on campus. Unfortunately, this effort did not result in any changes – the protest was followed by town hall meetings and committees – a trap made of red tape, laid by the UMKC admin. After intense criticism & self-criticism, we discovered three errors – that we failed to recognize that the administration’s role is antagonistic to the student body, that we worked with stale “activists” who have never accomplished anything, and that we took too gentle of an approach. We will not make these mistakes again.

The following fall semester, when we heard about yet another sexual assault targeting a UMKC student, committed by UMKC students, we sprung into action, keeping the errors of last semester in mind. We contacted the victim’s sister, and other victims to determine what issues were most pressing for them – they all informed us that the administration denied the severity of what happened to them, took no concrete action against their assailants, and even defended the reputation of their rapists. The political line upheld by our Proletarian Feminist Committee is that by politicizing women and developing militancy (not masculinity) among them thru training (like PFC’s self defense program) and revolutionary actions, we can turn the methods of violence & repression used by capitalist-patriarchy on itself. Our campaign is a synthesis of this line with the concerns of the student body.

The success has been tremendous – most of the campus knows the faces of Marc Casasnovas and Enric Ferrer, to the extent that the administration moved Marc’s tennis game out of fear that the student body will execute prompt, severe and inflexible justice for his crimes! Almost everyone who we’ve flyered to has taken interest and showed concern, and we have witnessed many discussions triggered by our efforts.

We have learned many lessons from our fellow students. A few of our newer comrades were shy about organizing & getting involved, but thru practice they have transformed. The same comrades who used to be scared to talk to their classmates are now handing out hundreds of flyers in a day. We have heard multiple additional reports from people we’ve flyered with, and are taking on other cases of sexual assault neglected by the UMKC administration.

Unfortunately, we have also discovered that international students, even those from advanced ESL classes have not been taught words like “rapist”, “predator” “sexual assault” – this isolates them from hearing about these issues, leaving them vulnerable. This openly political manipulation of language learning is a horrible maneuver by the administration & reminds us that universities are only interested in producing workers for the system to exploit, with no concern for student’s well being.

Meanwhile, the reactionaries are quaking in their boots – the administration sends out futile emails that nobody takes seriously,  and as the fear-filled fascists at the Sentinel put it, “Progressive Youth Organization (PYO) is taking no prisoners in its war”. Meanwhile, KC’s most famous (literal) basement dweller has branded us as “Kansas City’s premier anarchist/communist insurgent protesters” – the filth who comment on his blog are proud and open rapists who talk about UMKC women like we are objects for their consumption. The success of our campaign is proven by the fear we strike into the hearts of such scum.

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These predators are our enemy.

All of this proves the correctness of the mass line method of organizing we use! This method takes the slogan “from the masses, to the masses”, and in it we gather the ideas, concerns and thoughts of the people, apply political theory and our organizational experience, and then return it to the people by taking action. Because these ideas ultimately stem from the masses themselves, this method serves to unite the most progressive people, to politicize the undecided and intermediate, and to isolate the reactionary elements. This process is a spiral – with each application, we learn more about the concerns of the people, leading the way for future actions. This is in contrast to NGOs and reformist organizations, who sit on their armchairs and decide what is best for the “problematic masses”

Finally, our advice to the rebellious campus heros who put up those flyers: Keep up the good work, don’t be afraid to use more militant methods, and try wheatpaste next time! It’s harder to take down.

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Facing Heat After Harboring a Rapist, UMKC Men’s Tennis Moves Their Game Without Notice – Cowardice or Incompetence?

As we inform the student body is about (attempted) rapists Enric Ferrer (UMKC Soccer) and Marc Casasnovas (UMKC Tennis), the UMKC administration has resorted to more and more desperate measures to maintain their reputation.

Because Marc is still on the roster and not even suspended, we planned to protest the UMKC Tennis game on Janurary 26th. The UMKC Athletics Website and the ticketing office over the phone both stated the game was to be held at the Plaza Tennis Center, in Kansas City,  Missouri. Yet when we arrived, we saw nothing but Roo banners left hanging, torn down by the wind.

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Turns out the game was suddenly moved across the state line, and out of the city to Merriam, Kansas, with no announcement on social media or anywhere, except for an edit on their website that day. You would think that athletics would want people to show up to their games, and yet they can’t even let us know where they’re gonna be! How convenient for an administration already trying to hide from the consequences of their inaction.

You can see evidence of this for yourself – we found an older copy of the UMKC website where it states that the game is to be held in Kansas City, Missouri. In retrospect, we should have also recorded the phone call stating the game was to be held at the Plaza Tennis Center, but we did not expect the administration to stoop so low!

Regardless of if this was a convenient accident, or an active attempt to coddle sexual predators from the public, this is a massive failure for the administration. On top their inexcusable mishandling of years of sexual assaults, this proves that the UMKC administration must step up their game and act in the interests of the student body, or else we will make the necessary changes on campus ourselves. The ball is in your court!

Rape Culture, Live from UMKC Admin and their “Independent” Newspaper!

UMKC administration & their lapdog “student” organizations have noticed our campaign against sexual assault. Sadly, their responses has been denial, and in doing so, they have chosen to protect rapists instead of their victims and to propagate rape culture. They have even started repressing our efforts with legal threats and propaganda!

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, we handed out flyers warning students on campus about Enric Ferrer and Marc Casasnovas, two student athletes who had attempted to rape another UMKC student at a party on November 10, 2017. To the horror of most students who received our flyers (especially women), these two men are still on campus and allowed in the dorms and at events.  In response to this action, the Interim Chancellor/Provost/Professor of Management/PhD in Rape Apology, Barbara A. Bichelmeyer sent out an email the next day stuffed to the brim with excuses for the rapists & the university’s inaction.

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She referred to the sexual assault as “an incident” or “complaint of inappropriate behavior”, the attempted rapists as “students”, and the victim as “complainants”. She asserted that no rape happened – a technicality, because the victim managed to escape in time. She also asserted that the “false information” in our flyers doesn’t help the victim, when in fact the victim’s sister reached out to us to thank us for spreading the word, and when the quote on our flyers comes directly from the victim herself. All of this evasion serves to encourage sympathy for the rapist, to discredit the victim, and to propagate rape culture.

The Title 9 guidelines she linked in her email authorize the university to suspect, restrict from student activities and generally isolate a rapist during an investigation for the victim’s protection, yet none of these actions have been taken! It also states that the administration must respond in a timely manner (30 days), yet it has been two months now. Clearly, the administration has no interest in combating sexual assault on campus, and their call for “patience” is an excuse for this until public outcry dies down.

Even the “independent” student newspaper tails the administration’s line – Zach Linhares from U-News wrote a hack job on December 5 attacking us for putting up flyers about the rapists – unable to even provide his own images, he used ours and blurred out the names & faces of the attackers. In this pathetic excuse for journalism, the sexual assault is prefaced with “alleged”, warning people about rapists on campus is “singling out students” and “illegal and destructive”. And in the article, John Martallero, Director of Media Relations states that the administration is investigating the incident and intends to prosecute us, yet he does not express the same threat towards the rapists themselves. He also asserted that our actions do not represent the majority of UMKC students – but then why did most of the students we gave flyers to (especially women) thank us for this information?

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Adding insult to injury, Zach Linhares also hit up our page with obviously loaded questions. He claims to support the victim in his Facebook posts, but his deeds contradict his words by defending the rapists and attacking our efforts to warn campus about them. What pathetic liberalism it is to say one thing and to do another!

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All of this continues the administration’s pattern of denial – during the Spring 2017 semester, another student was sexually assaulted in the dorms – again, the university administration denied the severity of sexual assault, and again, after miles of red tape, no action was taken. In fact, we could not find any evidence that the UMKC administration has ever taken action against rapists on campus in the past ten years.

This denial directly contradicts the interests and safety of the student body. Almost every student we’ve talked to this has been horrified (with the exception of a few men). At least one prospective UMKC student has declined their acceptance out of fear of being sexually assaulted.

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Why is the administration so insistent on defending known predators at our expense? Are the parents of these rapists rich donors? Is the administration trying to protect their own reputations or paychecks? In any case, they have got to change! We demand that the UMKC administration apply their own Title IX policy by:

  1. Expelling Enric Ferrer and Marc Casasnovas
  2. Completing investigations in a timely (30 days) manner
  3. Suspending accused students during investigations of sexual assault and restricting them from student events

If these demands are not met, we will continue to put pressure on the administration until material action is taken against sexual assault on campus!