STAFF EDITORIAL | Take a stand against sexual assault

Sexual assault remains one of the most underreported crimes.

It’s estimated that only about 5 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses are reported.

At Butler University, it’s time to take a stand and start a conversation about sexual assault.

More than 11 percent of Butler students said they experienced unwanted sexual contact, according to a survey from spring 2010.

Another report from fall 2009 found a staggering 17 percent reported that they experienced unwanted sexual attention under the influence of alcohol.

That’s more than 1,000 students. These aren’t just numbers.  These are our peers.

Sexual assault has become normalized on college campuses, and Butler isn’t immune.

Some view it as something that just happens at parties when people have been drinking.

But sexual assault just shouldn’t happen. Ever.

We need to spark a conversation about what should happen to those found responsible for committing sexual assault against another student.

The tone surrounding the issue should not be one that normalizes and writes it off as something that “just happens,” like drinking or missing class.

Administrators should take a firmer stance on sexual assault and use definitive language when talking about it.

In last week’s issue of The Collegian, administrators were quick to point out that underage drinking is against the law.  However, they chose their words much more carefully when discussing sexual assault on Butler’s campus.

While we understand that it’s much easier to find a student with a Solo cup full of beer than one in the act of assaulting a student, the rhetoric needs to change.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week will help get a conversation going, and we look forward to seeing what our administrators and peers do to help bring the issue to the forefront.

Sexual assault is not an issue that should ever be pushed aside. It’s a matter of individual and group safety.

When students enroll at Butler,  they are putting their well-being into the hands of administrators, faculty members and fellow students.

For that reason, we must all watch out for each other and speak up when something isn’t right.


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