by Kori Echeveste
College campuses are meant to be a place where students can feel safe enough to live in dorms without worry. It’s a place where the staff and instructors are supposed to be one of their biggest support systems. But students are being assaulted on college campuses around the U.S. every day. And to add insult to injury, their experiences are rarely taken seriously.
Growing up, you’re taught to use the buddy system. You’re told that it’s not wise to go out by yourself at night. As a student at a university, I brought these ideals with me. I’ll admit that it was hard to stay consistent with these general rules. You can’t always find a buddy to walk you to your car (that is clear across campus) at 9 o’clock at night after class.
I was recently looking through articles and came across a review for a film called The Hunting Ground. The Hunting Ground is a film by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering that exposes sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families.
After reading though the article I took some time to think about my campus. Well, there are several wooded areas that aren’t lit at night. I’m sure there are areas that may not have surveillance cameras. Having never lived on campus I wondered if there had been incidents on campus that haven’t been communicated to the student body.
I spoke with a few other students about how they felt about the issue of sexual assault (or any assault for that matter) on campus and learned the following:
What do you think about the issue of assault on campus (sexual, physical, etc.)?
“I think that rape/attacks on college campuses are becoming more and more of a problem.”
~Susan Hines, student
“This kind of thing has been going on forever, and it’s unfortunate that college males (especially at top-tier universities) that come from very financially sound means are protected by their institutions despite stripping young women (intelligent young women, I may add) of their dignity.”
~Wynton Thomason, student
What do you think college campuses and universities can do to help students and possibly prevent incidents like this from happening?
“Just keep talking about it honestly, don’t ignore it. Don’t act like it doesn’t happen. I think that could help diffuse the so-called culture, somewhat. If people know it’s a problem, they have to acknowledge it’s not right, and I think the main problem is college males knowing they can get away with it, and not having any regard that their actions were wrong.”
~Wynton Thomason, student
“I think that the schools need to educate the students on issues like this. What signs should they look for? How should you prepare yourself for incidents like this? Just things like that.”
~Brittany Ortiz, student
“We need to take a stand because the campuses are protecting themselves, they don’t give a crap if you were sexually assaulted, they don’t want to be in the news…which sucks. It’s hard for victims to express how they feel because even the school is against them.”
~Andres Luevano, student
Students aren’t blind to this issue. For more information on the film The Hunting Ground, visit this website http://www.thehuntinggroundfilm.com.