Law and order, UMass style

By Claire Anderson

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

The trial of Emmanuel T. Bile Jr., who was allegedly involved in gang rape of a University of Massachusetts student with three other in 2012 in her Pierpont Hall dorm room, began earlier this week. After that grotesque night, which ruined her college experience, the usual points were brought up: what UMass could have done to prevent the rape and what can be done to prevent rapes from happening again.

UMass has done little to revamp security measures for dorms except outsourcing to Business Protection Specialists, with a large consulting fee, to compile a report filled with suggestions to upgrade security, such as correcting door deficiencies, creating electronic sign in sheets and increasing the police cadet presence. Most of the suggestions are common sense, yet the University has done little to effectively change the security since the report came out over a year ago. One of the most basic suggestions was to update all of the security cameras, but UMass replied they don’t have the logistics despite regularly updating 50 cameras each year.

The biggest problem, though, is there is still rape culture on campus. UMass is not the only one at fault – rape culture is predominant around the U.S. Yet the solution most people see involves victim blaming and stressing that girls need to be more vigilant of their friends and surroundings to fix the problem.

Last year, North Carolina State students created a nail polish that when exposed to certain date-rape drugs such as GHB in drinks will change color. In Nevada, Assemblywomen Michele Fiore’s solution to rape was to have women carry guns on campus and to parties because “if these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assaults them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.” Because guns are exactly what frat parties need mixed with beer pong and tequila.

Rape culture is a difficult problem to solve, which will take some time. UMass safety, on the other hand, is a lot simpler to change. At New York University, all students have to punch their student ID number into a keypad to get entrance to their dorm. The guard also takes the ID or license of all guests, so they can track who comes in and leaves. Those are two pretty obvious solutions and you didn’t even have to pay me a $40,000 consulting fee for them.

Claire Anderson is the Opinion and Editorial Senior Producer, and can be reached at [email protected]