This Woman Says She Was Banned From Her College Campus Because She Made Her Alleged Rapist ‘Uncomfortable’

What do you do when the system you turn to for support fails you? Or worse: what do you do when it actively works against you?

Anna Marie Rose Failla was a senior at Carnegie Mellon University when she was allegedly raped by one of her peers. She reported the incident to the university a few months later and asked them for a No Contact Agreement with her accused rapist, a document that would ensure that the two would not contact each other in any way. The university refused to comply and failed to inform Failla of any campus resources that could have helped her.

However, this all changed when Failla, now 23, returned as an alumna to an event called Carnival. She traveled 5 hours back to her university to see friends and attend theatre performances by a troupe she was once a part of. But prior to the event, Failla was contacted by CMU’s Title IX coordinator. Apparently her alleged aggressor had reached out to the Title IX office because he heard Failla would be attending the event, and now he was requesting a No Contact Agreement from her.

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How It Feels… to Perform for the Emperor of Japan

Published by Style on the Hill

Two years ago, KU student Annette Jardon performed for the emperor of Japan at the International Student Competition at the National Olympic Stadium. This is what it feels like.

The stadium in Tokyo erupted in applause as the Nepalese pianist finished his performance. As he left the stage, I walked onto it followed by the backup dancers the competition organizers had provided me with. I was wearing my everyday American clothes to showcase my culture, which made the fuzzy bunny ears and giant maroon bow the costume director had given me to look “cute” feel strange, but I didn’t have time to question it. This was it.

My whole body felt warm in the spotlight’s glow. As I looked out into the audience, I couldn’t see anyone past the first row of seats filled with other international students who were performing. But I knew he was out there somewhere — the emperor of Japan.

I hadn’t known the emperor would be here until we came to rehearsal earlier that day. There had been gossip that he could make an appearance, but I’d thought it was just that — gossip. But when we walked into the stadium, we passed him on the way to the stage.

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Five Tuscan takeaways

Published by The Florentine.

After staying in Florence for a while, it’s natural to inadvertently return home with a set of new customs that don’t quite fit into your home culture — perhaps answering the phone with a curt “pronto!” or greeting confused friends with kisses on the cheek. And then there are the customs that don’t come quite as naturally but that you still try to integrate into your everyday life, if not for any other reason than because you simply like doing them. I happened to do a lot of the latter, because living in Italy made me realize how stressful, fast-paced and altogether unhealthy my American lifestyle could be. Here are some of my top takeaways from Florentine culture that made me feel healthier, happier, and just a little more Italian that I was before.

Turning everyday moments into experiences

On one of my first days in Florence, my friend and I were walking out of a local alimentari when she asked if we could sit down. As we settled into a bench alongside the street, I looked over at her expectantly. Instead of readjusting her shoes or searching in her bag for something, she simply gazed out at the street, smiling as she watched the passersby.

When I asked her if everything was okay, she smiled at me. “Of course,” she said with a shrug. “I just wanted to take a moment.” When she noticed my surprise, she added, “Americans never take the time to soak everything in.”

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Interning in Florence after studying abroad

Published by The Florentine

Many of us have been there before: you studied abroad in Florence, fell in love, and are looking to return to the Renaissance city. Luckily for you, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are a multitude of opportunities for young people, whether it’s returning for another degree, trying out au pairing or, if you’re looking to clean up your professional persona, getting an internship.

I took the third route. A year after a magical study abroad experience, I got an internship that allowed me to travel and work in Florence. I got on the plane, starry-eyed and ready for a study abroad 2.0, an illusion that ended soon after I stepped onto the dark cobblestone street. That’s when you’ll learn your first lesson as an intern: your first step into the “real world” won’t have the safety nets you didn’t even realize you had as a student.

Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re searching for your own dream internship near the Duomo.

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5 Ferragosto Day Trips from Florence

It’s that time of the year again—the tourists spill in, the locals filter out and Florence is filled with a strange asymmetry you won’t find again until next August. It’s Ferragosto season, and while most Florentines have closed up shop and are headed to the beach, others aren’t so lucky. If you happen to be one of the few who aren’t able to spend weeks away because of finances or work, have no fear—we’ve compiled a list of the perfect places to go for a quick day trip or weekend getaway.

ISOLA D’ELBA

Isola D’Elba is just six miles away from the Tuscan coast, but the second you step on the shore you’ll feel like you’re much farther from the cities you’re escaping. Elba is usually full of secluded beaches, but not during this time of year—this island is a prime spot during Ferragosto, so it’s easy to blend in with the vacationers and spend a day or two on the Capo Bianco with others celebrating the summer holiday. A fun fact for the history buffs: this was one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite spots and where he spent his time in exile. Check out the Palazzina dei Mulini, the farmhouse-turned-palace Bonaparte used to inhabit.

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The Magic in the Moments

Written for my personal blog, used by the University of Kansas as a testimonial for the Italian Department

La Mattina

Mornings are my favorite smell in Florence. Whiffs of espresso trail me through twisting streets and wake me before I can even taste it. I like to follow sweet aromas into bakeries and entertain small talk with its shopkeepers who smile endearingly as my tongue fumbles over a language still foreign to me. They ask where I’m from. They ask if my hair is natural. Then they send me on my way with a “buona giornata.” These are my favorite exchanges of the day.

Mornings are also sweltering walks to work, trying hard not to sweat in my nice clothes or ruin my shoes on the cobblestones. The hair the shopkeepers like to compliment does not respond well to heat. I learned quickly to duck under buildings’ shadows and find shady routes that don’t take too much time. I am an expert at dodging clunky clumps of tourists and weaving around cars. It’s not my favorite routine.

But mornings remind me that I am lucky. I walk out of my apartment and into my favorite view in the world. I realized early on that my complaints are small in comparison.

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Learning to Love the Details

Published in the Florentine

When I saw the Duomo for the first time, I was stunned by the magnitude. I remember sitting on the steps in the early hours of the morning and staring up at the architecture in silence; I was the only person left in the piazza, but it felt like I was the only person left in the world. There’s something about being alone next to the goliath of a church that makes you feel so small, like you are just a dot in a Seurat painting, tiny but essential.

Being in Florence often felt like that — I was swept up in things that seemed so much bigger than I was. As a student abroad who had never travelled before, I wanted to understand the hype. I wanted to know why Michelangelo’s David filled art textbooks and why people squeezed into every empty space on the Ponte Vecchio. I wanted to see the city from every angle, from the dark cobblestone streets to the top of the red roofs. If I inspected it closely enough, could I finally unlock its secrets?

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my thirst to know Florence couldn’t be satiated easily. I had once laughed at the notion of Stendhal syndrome, but I began to wonder if it was time for a self-diagnosis. There were times when I would take a moment to take in at my surroundings and find myself so overcome with emotion that I had to sit down for a moment. Looking at the architecture for too long left me feeling dizzy. It made my head hurt and my heart swell.

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