#3| Special Project for the Summer

At the beginning of the summer all of the interns were told to begin thinking of an area of women’s rights we were interested in and to think how we may be able to turn that idea into a project proposal. Each summer at the Women’s Law Project, the interns each complete a project or a project proposal on a variety of issues that serve a variety of purposes. Past examples have included updating the website, creating informational brochures, and establishing new connections with other social justice organizations in the area. I immediately thought of the work I have done on Michigan’s campus with sexual assault survivor’s and was determined to create a project that addressed campus sexual assault and could serve a purpose for WLP. Luckily another intern was equally as passionate as me and together with the help of our supervisor and other lawyers in the office created an idea that combined our interest and served a need for the entire organization. Titled “Behind the Numbers: An Assessment of Sexual Assault on Philadelphia’s College Campuses” our finished report is a 27-page long analysis of all residential colleges in Philadelphia and their response to sexual assault. We read through each of the school’s sexual misconduct policies to evaluate their comprehensiveness, investigated how many gender-based acts of violence are reported on each campus, and how accessible their policy and support resources are. We compiled this information into a report that ultimately ranks each university on their response to violence, the level of support for survivors, and their attempts at spreading awareness and education. Our hope is that WLP can use our report to bring together the administrations from the universities to address the issues on their campuses, share ideas, and increase preventative efforts. In the process of thinking of, designing, and completing the project I was able to create a great relationship with another intern, learn how to analytically read and understand complicated policy, and apply my previous knowledge on campus based sexual assault. It was a great learning experience and I know I can leave my internship in a few weeks feeling as though I made a real impact in my job and in my community.

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