OUR VIEW: Sexual assault has not been solved
March 26, 2016
Celebrities and political figures alike have banded together in an effort to combat sexual assault on campuses. But some may say that’s been months ago.
Haven’t we made progress?
The University of Iowa sent out a statement Monday that two students reported being victims of a non-consensual sexual act last weekend. The statement said both occurred in a university residence hall, with one on Saturday and the other Sunday.
But Simpson doesn’t have the same problems, right?
Our campus is relatively small and calm compared to large state schools, such as Iowa.
We revamped first-year student programming to create the more Simpson-focused “Agents of Change” performance to fight this very issue.
Unfortunately, a few changes can’t resolve a problem that’s still large in our nation.
This week, Simpson’s “Small College, Big Questions” series hosted “It’s Still On Us” to remind the campus that the fight isn’t over to stop sexual assault on campuses.
This event was held with the Women’s and Gender Studies program and is one of many events held during Women’s History Month.
It is concerning to think that anyone sees one annual performance as a solution to an issue affecting up to one in 5 women and one in 33 men in college in the U.S.
Simpson is fortunate to have an active SARA organization, and it is our hope that more students reach out to the group to educate themselves on sexual assault prevention and bystander awareness and intervention.
Each year, schools are required to report security statistics to comply with the Clery Act.
The 2013 report posted on Simpson’s website reported that in 2012, two forced sexual offenses occurred in student housing on campus. The previous year, zero assaults were recorded.
Keep in mind these numbers only reflect the assaults that were reported.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported.
At The Simpsonian, we advocate for education about sexual assault and creating an atmosphere where students can openly ask questions, discuss what consent means and feel comfortable to report if they have been sexually assaulted.
With the addition of the “It’s Still On Us” discussion, Simpson is taking further steps to promote awareness of the issue at hand.
Continuing the dialogue throughout the year — and through each student’s Simpson career — is the necessary change to combat sexual assault and encourage safe, responsible sexual activity at Simpson.
This can’t happen overnight, but in the meantime, we can’t forget that it’s on us.
It’s still on us.