A student at the University of Maryland used the Yale fraternity situation to take to her school’s newspaper and encourage her peers to think about how their language influences their behavior. Right on, Andrea: Our language cements destructive and outdated gender norms, which dictate that sex is a commodity women keep from men and a woman’s decision to have multiple partners makes her less valuable.”
A PAVE member over at UW-Madison wrote a great piece for the school’s newspaper about how complicated abusive relationships can be and why it’s important for friends to be supportive, rather than judgmental. And speaking of dating violence, the University of Mary Washington is launching a dating violence awareness campaign this month. It’s exciting to see some momentum around the issue, because we’ve noticed that very few schools address dating violence at any kind of institutional level.
Earlham College had “Positive Sexuality Week” on campus last week, which I think is a great way to re-frame what had traditionally been “sexual violence awareness week.” The week’s events were run by the student group Action Against Sexual Violence, and included an awesome-sounding student forum where folks discussed:
[I]ssues like gender and assumptions about perpetrators and survivors of sexual violence and assumptions about parties and “hooking up”. There was also discussion of the administration’s response to sexual assault. Students who spoke disagreed about the level or quality of support they thought the administration provided. Students also commented on the lack of student initiative and how this might impact the attitude or actions of school administration.
This is kind of interesting. When I posted my last Campus Round-Up over at Feministing Campus, a commenter pointed out the lack of gender diversity in the Dartmouth “Short Answer” feature which asked a group of students to weigh in on whether or not the school should be more active in addressing sexual assault. So this week, The Dartmouth opinion staff posed a question to their peers about whether professors had any place in the conversation about campus alcohol and sexual misconduct, and I was looking at the names. And yeah, 9 of the 10 students interviewed had names generally identified as male (Samuel, Jonathan, etc). What’s up with that? Not exactly representative of the student body, huh?
Buried in this article about how to address campus alcohol violations in the College of William and Mary’s school paper is a great quote from an administrator about why they address sexual assault differently than other conduct violations:
“We see sexual violence as an act that deprives a student of control over his or her body or sexuality,” [Assistant Dean of Students] Gilbert said. “We don’t bring the students in and tell them they have to do anything- we provide options. You can do nothing, you can merely report it to the Dean of Students, you can adjudicate it in the conduct process or you can report it to the police.”
Finally, one update: remember that story about how 12 Central Washington University students were hospitalized and it was thought they had been drugged at a party? Turns out they became ill from drinking too much Four Loko, a new “energy” kind of a drink that is 12% alcohol and apparently contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. 23 students at Ramapo College in NY also went to the hospital because of the stuff. Let’s see how long it takes before it gets taken off the market.