Students Supporting Students: Emmanuel Students Strive for Justice

The piece was originally published October 2020.

*Trigger warning: this article discusses sexual assault. Due to the sensitive nature of this article, some sources will remain anonymous.

After Emmanuel college’s decision to convert to an online format during the spring ‘19 semester due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it became evident that Emmanuel, like other colleges, had encountered turbulent and unprecedented times. However, unlike other colleges during this transition, Emmanuel faced an uprising of students criticizing their Title IX policies.

According to The Office of Title IX on 4/25/20, “ A recent Twitter post by one of our students has raised questions about the College’s approach to handling cases of sexual assault and harassment by other students.” 

On 4/22/20, Emmanuel student Caitlin Palmer tweeted, “This isn’t something I wanted to talk about. Deep down I wanted to believe that Emmanuel cared about me; about Title IX. Emmanuel college athletics just used a video of my rapist (who they found responsible through their own trial) on the athletics page to promote enrollment here.”

The tweet not only sparked anger toward Emmanuel’s Title IX policies but also a movement for survivors to share their stories.

One anonymous source bravely summarizes their story with:

 “We were dating, I was drunk, I consented but changed my mind and told them to stop. They didn’t.”

Another anonymous source stated: “I watched Emmanuel College hide key evidence, refuse to interview witnesses, and took into their own hands to not only bury my rape case so that it could not get approved by the DA’s office; but also use Mental Health services to Stonewall and shame me for having the audacity to report it…After the DA office denied to take my case to court Campus Safety, Mental Health Services, and Student Housing did nothing to ensure my safety or well-being at this institution. They did not talk to me, they did not change my class schedule or make accommodations. I could have died in my dorm from the stress and trauma that happened to me. Students who were not held responsible as witnesses have surprisingly all graduated with high achieving accomplishments awarded by this institution.”

However, The response given by the Title IX Office on 4/25/20 claims,

“We as a community are deeply concerned about the devastating impact of sexual assault and harassment.  Our Sexual Assault Response Team responds to each student case in a comprehensive manner guided by sensitivity, compassion, and fairness. The College’s policies and practices reflect a commitment to preventing issues from occurring as well as supporting survivors.”

Yet, this is not the first time students of Emmanuel had expressed frustration with their Title IX policies.Back in 2016, Allison Pohle of reported that Emmanuel student Joanna Vandyke left the college after its inability to successfully address the issue (Pohle, 2016).

Although a movement derived from a sense of injustice, The students of Emmanuel came together to offer each other support during difficult times.

Hannah Johnston 22’ responded with “ I’m so incredibly sorry you had to go through this. My heart goes out to you, thank you for sharing your story.”

One common theme between these survivors’ stories is the drive for justice and a need for change. Anonymous source #1 concludes their story by stating, “I want justice for survivors. I want people held accountable for their actions.”

If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual assault, please contact BARCC official at:

BARCC official website:

BARCC 24-hour hotline: 800-841-8371

Web chat hotline –

Office: 617-492-8306

Taylor Fruzzetti ’22 is the Week’s End Editor and Social Media Editor for The Hub. She can be contacted at