Almost three weeks after it was taken down, the display installed by the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) documenting street harassment on campus was put back up on the third floor of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) on Wednesday, April 5. The display was originally removed due to complaints from students and faculty regarding the language used in the installation.
According to Jordyn Haime, a freshman and SHARPP community educator who developed the project and worked closely with SHARPP, she was not informed when the display would be put back up.
Since the display was taken down, Haime, SHARPP Director Amy Culp and SHARPP Media Outreach Coordinator Connie DiSanto have been working closely with the dean of students, Ted Kirkpatrick, to restructure and rephrase some of the display so that it would meet the standards of the university administration.
“We had to reprint some of the boards that were going up because the dean wanted the statistics and all of the information and definitions and the Wildcat Stop Street Harassment… to be bigger than the quotes,” Haime explained.
Though there had been complaints by students and faculty regarding the language of the display, according to Haime, another main reason the display was taken down was because of the student tours that walk through the MUB on a daily basis.
“A big reason that the dean is giving us [for taking the display down] is because it’s a time when a lot of tours are happening, so he said that his worry is that a lot of families and children are going to see it,” Haime said.
Haime also argues that the display and programs like SHARPP are a way to draw students to UNH, not push them away.
“I know a lot of people who, like me, a big part of their decision to come here was because of SHAARP,” Haime explained.
“Now our administration is doing the same thing that a lot of other schools are doing where they’re just kind of pushing issues like this under the rug in order to keep up a good reputation, which is really disappointing,” Haime said.
According to Haime, though the display has been censored in a way that doesn’t accurately represent the kind of street harassment students face, with only 22 of the original 35 quotes remaining, putting the display back up is a step in the right direction.
“My main hope is that people will see it and know that they’re not alone in these issues and that they shouldn’t just push them off as a trivial annoyance or just something that they have to deal with, and they can talk about it and do something about it,” Haime said.