Changing attitudes may help environment
Oct. 9, 2001
I am writing this letter in response to the front page article in The Observer on Oct. 8th. When Kori Pienovi asked the University whether or not the accused rapist Cooper Rego will be allowed back on campus despite the ban, the University refused to comment. The fact that the University is even considering letting someone back on campus after he was banned is disgusting. The general attitude of apathy that there are sexual assault cases happening on our campus pervades every area of Notre Dame — the leaders, faculty and the students. The University of Notre Dame is very preoccupied with its image and would choose to brush things under the rug rather than to deal with them the right way, and sexual assault cases are no different.
I am aware of four sexual assault/rape cases so far this semester at Notre Dame. Four cases in the span of two months is a lot, especially for a religiously-affiliated university. And those are only the cases that are reported and that I know about.
I have seen article upon article written about the sexual assault case in Keough with many people being concerned that the room numbers of the alleged offenders were given out. It's evident that people at Notre Dame (mainly students) are very concerned about protecting the alleged offenders and about not making incorrect accusations. But who is out there supporting the victims? Throughout the semester there has been little to no consideration of the victims at Notre Dame.
Hello! Wake up! Do you truly believe that each of these girls independently made up lies about being drugged and sexually assaulted/raped? If you do then take a moment and think about the great ways in which theses girls are profiting from their lies. First they get to go to the hospital — tons of fun, as anyone knows — and get tubes of blood drawn, urine samples, the morning after pill, STD prevention shots and a long list of date rape drug tests. Then after they have to give about 10 different accounts of the same painful story to the police, they get to listen to everyone talking behind their back. "What a bitch, why is she goin' around telling lies?" "She's just a slut,"… etc.
As you can see, there aren't many benefits to claiming that they were sexually assaulted/raped, but these girls have obviously come out for a good reason and it took a lot of courage for them to do that.
In Kori Pienovi's speech freshman year she said that our University is a highly at-risk environment for rape. Now is the time to ask ourselves why. And we can start with the attitudes that are seen on campus.
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, October 10, 2001