“Taking Action On Sexual Assault — A Student Perspective” is the title of a two-page document containing various recommendations to help combat the “sexual assault storm” at the University of Virginia.
“It is a problem among us, and a problem we must fix at personal and cultural levels,” the introduction says.
Indeed, the document has three sets of recommendations — nine for UVA’s Board of Visitors, and seven each for administration and students.
One of these (for the BOV) is something you might have come to expect: a requirement to take Women and Gender Studies courses.
There is much to learn about our culture’s impact on and interaction with women. Assuring that each student engages with these ideas is an enabler of cultural change. The BOV can: budget increased support for the program, direct schools to create requirement.
Other ideas include the creation of a Gender Violence Institute, an All-Night Women’s Center, and mandatory faculty training “on their responsibilities and how to sensitively interact with survivors.”
But what is most … frightening is the call for closed criminal trials in rape cases:
One hurdle to pursuing criminal resolution may be the painstaking public nature of trials. Introducing privacy could make that path more attractive. The BOV can: advocate publicly to Richmond.
Fortunately, University of Virginia student body, this is the United States, not Stalin’s USSR or Mao’s China. And, American campuses already have a rather sordid history when it comes to holding private proceedings.
If the members of the Board of Visitors have even a smidgen of legal integrity, they will nix this awful idea faster than Rolling Stone had to backtrack on its UVA “gang rape” story.
h/t to KC Johnson.
IMAGE: William Murphy/Flickr