Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Sexual assault awareness is everyone’s obligation

By Mary Williams, Guest Writer

Take a moment and remember back to fall 2012, when Miami University was skyrocketed into national news with the notorious "Top 10 Ways to Get Away With Rape" flier.

For those of you unfamiliar with the document, the flier found in the men's restroom of a co-ed dorm highlighted concepts like "practice makes perfect, the more you rape, the better you get at it" and "if you're afraid the girl will identify you, slit her throat."

After this incident, Miami took the initiative to hire Becca Getson, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, a position that, prior to the flier, was non-existent on Miami's campus.

Being a Co-President of Women Against Violence and Sexual Assault on campus, I am constantly exposed to a variety of events, arguments and attitudes when it comes to the never-ending battle and conversation of sexual assault and interpersonal violence on our much-opinionated campus.

As a senior, however, I have been witness to this campus enduring a variety of "changes," the first being hiring Getson to help counteract events such as the aforementioned flier.

However, my question is this: while Miami administrators may hire sexual assault coordinators and groups across campus hold events like the It's On Us Week, has Miami's attitude toward sexual assault and interpersonal violence truly changed?

Here's the thing. Miami student organizations can implement 500 programs that are meant to combat sexual assault and administrators can hire 20 sexual assault coordinators, but that will not change the general population's attitudes toward sexual assault and interpersonal violence.

Time and time again, WAVES, MARS, the F-WORD and ASG partner up to hold events, whether they are collaborative, such as It's On Us Week, or Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and students are hesitant to participate.

If all they have to do is sign a banner to pledge against sexual assault, sure, they can do that, because if they don't that would be wrong, right?

Sadly, over the course of my three and a half years at Miami, I have seen a "steady" support from a handful of students in raising their voices against sexual assault, and a deafening silence from the majority.

Slowly but surely, administrators have taken the steps to make necessary changes, and I commend them on making alterations recently that may be pivotal in this campus' overall future success - however, I think that all students on college campuses across the country and at Miami need to make a more prevalent effort to show their support.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

As of right now, the support and awareness is coming from people in the organizations themselves that are dedicated to raising awareness to those who chose not to listen.