Editorial: Continuing the Conversation

Recently, Associate Professor of Psychology Bill Flack released his Fall 2014 Campus Sexual Assault survey results. This annual survey often catalyzes an increase in conversations surrounding the topic on campus, especially as the administration and Flack tend to disagree on several aspects of how to best gauge information pertaining to sexual assault.

In Kristen Verille’s ’16 piece about the survey, Flack was quoted saying, “…there is something that stays beyond any student. A tradition that gets passed down. The idea that ‘things should be the way they were when I was here.’” And that is entirely the case, but it might stem from how individuals at the University go about approaching the process of solving the problem.

The issue of sexual assault is not something that can be fixed entirely by employing a wealth of talks organized by the administration or speakers who come equipped with a list of tips and stories. Rather, the responsibility lies within conversations between students—conversations that occur before parties or after class, ones that do not require an adult or student to guide the discourse, but rather that stem from genuine student interest in eradicating this problem.

Granted, programs such as SpeakUp and many of the speakers that the University brings in are integral to both educating students on many points pertaining to the issue as well as continuing the conversation about the issue. However, until students take the initiative to delve into the issue with one another when they are not in an organized setting geared towards it, the deeply rooted campus culture that lends to this problem will not budge.

The student body should take it among themselves to make casual conversations about the problem, not only encouraged, but also frequent. By substantiating the surveys, speakers, and programs with a continued, student-wide conversation, it will ensure not only that the buzz each event brings does not die out, but that there will be genuine change within the campus culture.

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