A Campus Responds: Columnist and reader-submitted reactions
FOLLOWING THE NEWS that the University of Massachusetts allowed a rapist to remain enrolled after confessing his crime, DailyCollegian.com reached out to its columnists and readers to either give their reaction to the news or answer the question, What should the University be doing about sexual assault on campus? We’ve compiled their responses here, with emphasis on their stronger points. Email comments to email@example.com
The root cause of rape of women by men in this society is because men and women simply don’t talk to each other enough to feel like they’re part of the same species. We all have a lot in common… and once men (especially) can connect to women on a friend-level in general, they would have to be sociopaths to still rape them.
Another cause is a culture amongst many men who see having sex as a trophy to prove their self worth. Higher self-esteem is a great solution for this.
– MICHAEL WEINTRAUB, UMASS PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR
The campus administration should be ashamed of themselves. This is exactly why the majority of women who are sexually assaulted do not come forward and tell the police.
Not expelling this person or reporting his confession to the police is a serious breach of ethics that should not be tolerated. I’ve read a lot of the comments on The Globe story and many of them have an issue with the victim not reporting it to the police. Yes, in a perfect world the victim would have gone to the police and reported the assault herself, but it is in no way her fault, and it in no way gives the University the right to allow this student to remain on campus.
It’s absolutely disgusting to me that my university reacted this way to a serious crime against a woman, and then people act surprised that she did not report the crime. Yes, she should have pressed charges. But she also shouldn’t have been put in this position, and she is not the one to blame. Punish the perpetrator, not the victim.
–LAUREN VINCENT, COLLEGIAN COLUMNIST
To say this case was mishandled is at the very best a pitiful understatement. Deferred suspension? No possible appeal by anyone other than the accused? A man (too generous a term) has by his own admission committed a violent and disgusting crime, and our University, through irrevocable administrative error and subsequent administrative oversight, lets him continue to share our hallways, our dining halls, and our public transit; All of this the courtesy of inept and inappropriate administrative decisions and structuring.
What Kim fails to acknowledge is that this was a human error perpetuated by laziness and occupational inadequacy up and down Whitmore’s chain of command; inadequacy and laziness which has, for the time being, allowed a guilty man to continue his education with nothing more than a lenient slap on the wrist for a felony punishable by 20 years in prison (according to Thursday’s Globe).
So seniors, when you’re wearing your caps and gowns and walking at your college graduation, do not forget who walks with you. And do not forget who let him do so.
– CHARLIE FELDER, COLLEGIAN COLUMNIST
I would find it more than condescending to the victim to suggest that anything less than expulsion be necessary, however it happens the admitted offender was allowed to come back to campus and finish his degree. What could plausibly be the most disgusting part of how this was handled was how it was represented: the Vice Chancellor Jean Kim reported that the whole scenario was simply “unfortunate.”
Being a former TA here at UMass and subsequently dealing with a case myself, I know that plagiarism is enough to get a student expelled. I have seen it happen with my own eyes. As such, the message we are getting from this is that it will not be tolerated by the school to take another individual’s ideas, but to take someone else’s body for your own sexual purposes deserves a slap on the wrist. It was a very inappropriate and far too mild consequence, and should be coercively rebutted on behalf of the university’s reputation.
– SHANE NICKERSON, COLLEGIAN COLUMNIST