A student (or students) and my school, Goucher College, was raped and took the proper action of reporting it. The student was found guilty of rape by the administration. The survivor received a letter with his sanctions. Along with several other students, I received an email last night informing the Goucher community of the outcome of the case:
Last semester a student was expelled for paying someone to write his paper. Before that, several students faced expulsion after being caught with airsoft guns. Obviously, in the case of rape (or any sexual misconduct, for that matter) sanctions should be AT LEAST equal to cheating, yes? Some of us got together and discussed this today. We thought the problem was the actual sexual misconduct policy at Goucher, so we did some digging. This is what we found in our copy of the policy:
“The college may institute disciplinary procedures against an accused student, facultymember, or staff member regardless of whether any criminal charges are filed. Persons accused of sexual assault may be removed from campus pending disciplinary action or criminal procedures, to avoid additional conflict within the community and to protect the safety of all those involved and of the campus community.
If you are sexually assaulted, you, or when appropriate the college, may institute disciplinary procedures pursuant to this policy (see section XI). If a criminal charge is filed, the college’s general counsel shall determine whether action under this policy should be delayed pending the outcome of the criminal case. The college is not required to await the outcome of any criminal proceedings before taking action under this policy. If a student or employee is found guilty of or pleads guilty to a rape charge in a criminal case and no appeal is filed within the appeal period, the college shall immediately expel the student from Goucher or immediately terminate the employee without further investigation or hearing. If a student or employee is found guilty of or pleads guilty to any other charge of sexual assault in a criminal case and no appeal is filed within the appeal period, the college may immediately expel the student or may immediately terminate the employee without further investigation or hearing.
Individuals who are expelled or terminated under this provision are banned from campus.”
Since the sexual misconduct policy is pretty sound, the issue seems to be that it was not adhered to”
My friend also received a flyer under her door this morning with the picture of a student (unsure of whether or not this student is actually involved or not) with the lines “Beware the Goucher College Rapist” followed by this students name. I don’t necessarily agree with this method of consciousness raising, even though I do think it is important, ultimately, that people be made aware of who the rapist is and how easily he got off.
Like many of the concerned members of the Goucher community, I am outraged on many levels.
My friend shouldn’t have to wake up and start her day to the picture of a potential rapist slipped under her door as a warning. She shouldn’t have to walk around campus today looking at this boy (there’s 1500 kids here, I see this guy at least once a day) wondering about him. She shouldn’t have to walk around campus looking at ANY boy and wonder if he could be a rapist too. She’s not the only one who received this flyer; she’s not the only one who might feel scared today- or for a while.
People are paying an obscene amount of money to attend school here. We are supposed to feel safe at school. We also live here. We are supposed to feel safe at home. It seems like the administration has told campus Public Safety to be more concerned with sniffing people’s doors for the scent of weed than actually protecting students from being attacked. I don’t mean to imply that a Public Safety officer should have been there in the knick of time to save this woman. But they could at least take the proper actions to protect students in the aftermath and reestablish a feeling of security for the survivors.
This is not the first set of rapes that has occurred at Goucher. A number of them go unreported. Now it is not surprising, seeing that Goucher has failed to take proper action at all. At a Take Back The Night rally last spring (2012) many students anonymously told stories of their rapes and their friends’ rapes, a great deal of them occurring at Goucher. Also last semester, athletes were accused of sexually assaulting students and received a very similar punishment to the one mentioned above.
Is banning this student from ONE dorm on campus supposed to make the people living in other dorms feel safe? Is this supposed to stop a rapist?
As hard as Green Dot (a club on campus that handles issues of sexual assault) members work, are we really leaving it up to students to teach other students to respect others and to stop raping? Why is the school asking- MAKING other students face rapists and do the work for them?
I’ve never felt unsafe at Goucher until now. I’ve always been able to walk around by myself late at night. I’ve never felt scared in a situation where I was a little too drunk, because I believed that Goucher established a safe community of people who were constantly being educated about the importance of consent and respect etc. I don’t feel this way any more.
Now I feel like Goucher is too worried about the student-rapist as a dollar sign and not as a criminal. They see these survivors as women who can be appeased. Let me tell you something.
If there’s one thing Goucher has done right, it’s that they have produced countless strong, educated, empowered women who are not going to take this level of bullshit. Students, professors, faculty, staff- I can’t think of any woman who is not going to point out how Goucher has failed. We are not going to be another school that ignores how terrible of a crime rape is.
Saddle the fuck up.