Editorial: Addressing the campus climate

We feel a bit like a broken record here at The Bucknellian. A large amount of our editorials pertain to sexual assault, the recent campus climate issues and the debates they stir. However, after President Bravman’s rousing speech last week during the “Take Back the Night” assembly, we began to rethink things.

Like most other students on campus, at first we thought that the recent talks on campus climate and the issues they bring forth reflect our University in a bad way. It is important to understand, however, that our campus is not the only one experiencing these issues. Sexual assault on college campuses is an issue that is, unfortunately, quite prevalent all over the country. President Bravman, in his speech to students and faculty last Thursday, expressed the importance of talking about these issues and not letting them go unnoticed. That is why there is a so much debate about these issues as of late. We are being forced to talk about them and bring them to light, which is not at all a bad thing.

However, there are always speakers that come to campus and events that address important issues, but that is where it ends. For the most part, the only students that go to these events are Greek members (give or take a few people who are genuinely interested) and the only reason they go is to obtain community service hours or because it is mandatory by the organization. For a change to occur, students need to care. They need to have a desire to attend these events or speakers because they personally want to change things. Right now, we get the impression that a select few members of the student community truly care about whether or not the campus climate changes. First and foremost, this needs to change in order for things on campus to change.

In a previous editorial from this semester, we asked what the point was in talking about sexual assault and other negative things that happen on campus. We questioned whether or not it would actually change the things that happen. We, frankly put, were being naive. How can we ask that question when we don’t have any past proof to support out claims? What makes these past few semesters different than previous ones is the leadership the University has been under.

President Bravman, unlike some of our previous presidents, is refusing to ignore the negative things that happen on campus. The issues we have on campus now are the same ones we have had in the past. That is probably the reason the student body is apprehensive towards the idea of “making changes” and “moving forward.” Things haven’t changed in the past so what makes us believe they will now? But we are doing something positive already. We are acknowledging these bad things, which is definitely a step in the right direction and a step we haven’t previously taken. What do we have to lose by talking about this?

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