UChicago students speak out against institutional failures with trending #LiabilityoftheMind hashtag

University of Chicago students took to Twitter last night, calling out widespread misogyny, Title IX violations, queerphobia, transphobia, racism (including these Halloween costumes), ableism, lack of mental health services, lack of support for low-income students — and institutional tolerance of it all. 

The #LiabilityoftheMind hashtag, started by UChicago student Olivia Ortiz, quickly trended on Twitter in Chicago. (“Liability of the mind” plays on a common UChicago slogan, “Life of the mind.”) Says Ortiz, “As a student of color and sexual assault survivor on campus, I’ve constantly felt like a liability in the eyes of my university. Instead of condemning and disciplining the real liabilities (students and administrators who violate the law and further marginalize minorities on campus) the University systemically leaves those most in need of its protection to languish.”

#LiabilityoftheMind enumerates years of abuses at the university but comes most directly in response to renewed efforts by the UChicago Electronic Army (UEA) to threaten and intimidate marginalized students and campus activists. As we covered, in September, UEA hacked a UChicago student fashion website to directly threaten Ortiz and other student activists with rape; yesterday, it hacked a student activist’s Facebook account to post this threat:

UChicago electronic army threat


Although the University of Chicago administration has been “investigating” the UEA’s actions since September, it has yet to take any action against it or any of its members. UChicago students ask that supporters help amplify their voices on Twitter, and sign their petition. You can share your thoughts with the UChicago administration here.

New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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