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Our Harvard Can Do Better, an undergraduate campus group advocating against rape culture at Harvard, has rebranded as the Harvard Feminist Coalition, the organization announced on Oct. 30.
The shift follows group members’ desire to expand their focus beyond direct action and address a wider set of gender-based issues.
Our Harvard Can Do Better was founded in 2012 to “dismantle rape culture at Harvard” and to advocate for “a policy under which survivors are supported and abusers face commensurate sanctions,” according to the group’s website.
Members of the group spearheaded protests against Harvard’s sexual misconduct policies in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against professor John L. Comaroff, including walkouts, email campaigns, and a University Hall sit-in. The group has called for Comaroff’s resignation.
The coalition intends to focus on a more diverse set of issues in line with its newly broadened mission.
"It was very focused, kind of just siloed in on sexual violence and focused on direct action in a way that we thought didn’t properly address the need for a greater feminist community and also a more holistic, intersectional approach towards advancing gender justice on campus,” said Rosie P. Couture ’26, a member of the group.
“Sexual violence is absolutely still a priority. Also, we’re thinking about abortion access and access to reproductive health care on campus. We’re also thinking about queer and trans students on campus and how to make them feel safe,” she added.
Rachael A. Dziaba ’26, one of the organizers of the coalition, said despite expanding their efforts to be more intersectional, the group is still focused on gender equity and “continuing to advocate against this culture of sexual assault.”
Anya X. Zhang ’27, the freshman representative of the Feminist Coalition, said the coalition seeks to convey the message to sexual assault and microaggression victims that “there’s a community behind them that is able to support them and help them seek justice in any way, shape, or form.”
Zhang said conversations about issues the Feminist Coalition is focused on are often occurring “in the ivory tower and within seminar classrooms.”
“When we actually see these injustices happen and people we know exhibit these kinds of behaviors, that’s when we start to get uncomfortable,” she said. “We need to normalize these kinds of conversations and hold each other accountable for actions that are not okay.”
“Being able to discuss these kinds of topics surrounding feminism, sexual assault culture, that sort of thing is really important and integral towards changing our campus culture for the better,” she added.
—Staff writer Hana Rostami can be reached at email@example.com.
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