A Letter to the Skidmore Community Regarding Sexual Misconduct
Photo credit Sara Marsh '18
One in four women will be sexually assaulted during college. One in four sisters, daughters, and granddaughters are sexually assaulted during “the best four years of their lives.” Sexual misconduct also occurs with one in 16 men. While 35 incidents of sexual assault occur each academic year for every 1,000 women, less than five percent are reported to authorities, and only one third of perpetrators found guilty are expelled. With national awareness of college sexual assaults increasing, the number of victims stepping forward has also increased. Therefore, university campuses must evolve their policies in accordance with the heightened focus on assaults, and the higher expectations of effective punishments. Universities must educate both sexes about the importance of affirmative consent and enforce necessary punishments. More locally, Skidmore must unify its campus against sexual assault by creating awareness of the issue, but also erasing the stigma placed on sexual assault victims.
In the first months of this semester, there have been multiple instances of sexual misconduct on our campus. In response to this, Skidmore is upholding current policies while implementing new ones. There has been an increase in advertisement for resources available to victims. Campus Safety has changed its rounds schedule to include more cycles around the Residence Halls and apartment areas. Student advocate groups are making their presence known, and are distributing posters across campus that promote anti-women-objectifying messages. Many groups are taking steps to make our campus safe and aware of this issue. While these groups are attempting to create an accepting and understanding campus, through the distribution of blue bracelets, we are also trying to unify the Skidmore community in a visual way. The bracelets will not only show who is supportive of this cause, but will also serve as a constant reminder of the issues at hand.
We will be holding an informative event on the second floor of Case Center on Friday, November 20th from 12:00pm-1:30pm. There will a table with posters advertising our message, and blue bracelets will be distributed to those who sign our pledge to “Band Together” against sexual assault.
Juliet Romano and Angelea McPartlin