Graduating students of Harvard University joined the ‘No Red Tape’ movement during Commencement on Thursday, May 29, by wearing red tape on their graduation caps, following in the footsteps of Columbia University and Brown University.

2014 Harvard University Graduates Wear Red Tape

Harvard College is just one of the 55 colleges and universities facing Title IX Sexual Violence Investigations after students filed claims against them for the mishandling of cases of sexual assault on campus. Harvard Law School is also on the list, but Harvard University is just one of six Ivy League schools that have incited outrage after students filed federal complaints against them relating to Title IX. Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University and Brown University have all come under fire for their handling of sexual assault or misconduct charges, and student activism around this issue has grown.

Most recently on May 27, Harvard College seniors joined the movement to wear red tape on their graduation caps. In this case, student organizers hoped the red tape would show support the Harvard student activist group ‘Our Harvard Can Do Better,’ as well as other student groups on campus.

“Students from across the College who have been involved in different campaigns, different issues, different forms of activism decided that…now was a really special opportunity to continue expressing the student voice and demonstrate to Harvard that the student voice is important, and that we are willing to stand up for the issues that we believe [in] and hold the University accountable,” said Lily H. Ostrer, Harvard class of 2014.

Columbia University: No Red Tape Movement

Before Harvard’s commencement, the red tape movement also took place at Columbia University, after a student organization called ‘No Red Tape’ issued a university wide announcement on May 18 in an effort to have graduates wear red tape during the commencement ceremonies to show solidarity with the movement to improve sexual assault policies on campus.

“We ask that you join us this week in an act of solidarity with survivors (your friends and peers), faculty who have shown support for this very important issue, and for the community members who have been hard at work at reforming campus life. By placing a piece of red tape on your cap…you will demonstrate and signal to the University that you do not accept your degree lightly, that you understand the culture that they have been complicit in perpetuating, and that you will not stand for it, and that you demand justice and support for all survivors, even as a graduate of this institution,” read the statement from No Red Tape.

Brown University Commencement 2014

At Brown University, over 200 graduates wore red tape on their graduation caps in support of the movement, with many spelling ‘IX’ with the red tape. Others also wore red stickers on their caps for Brown University’s ‘Imagine Rape 0’ movement.

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