The way Hobart and William Smith Colleges officials dealt with the rape of a freshman girl by not just one but several male students is sickening for many reasons.
One which concerns each and every one of you university professionals is the lack of a moral compass evidenced by those in a position of authority.
When did educators start believing it was ok for anyone to have sex with an extremely drunk young person?
When did educators’ guidelines for behavior become so confused that university officials could even attempt to argue that the attack by not just one but by several men of a young woman – gang rape – could possibly not be a crime?
When did educators begin to allow their students to imagine that an acceptable response to an aggression is not to come to the assistance of the victim but to film the event?
And how did university administrators, handsomely paid to educate the young people entrusted to them, decide to cultivate confusion and evasion instead of clear codes of conduct?
HWS could have sent a clear message about what is and what is not acceptable behavior. But it did not. Why? How could honorable people lose sight of basic principles?
It is wrong to take advantage of an unconscious or inebriated person.
Gang rape – whatever the circumstances – is a crime that must be punished to the full extent of the law.
Non-assistance to a person in danger is despicable.
Filming an assault instead of intervening or calling the police is so revealing of a lack of moral education as to be grounds for immediate expulsion.
We are light years from grey areas here. And yet, to read the letters and comments of university officials, this would all seem very complicated. So complicated, in fact, that officials went so far as to deliver the name of the victim while shielding perpetrators from the law.
If you, as university professionals, find it difficult to identify what's wrong here, then your moral compass is broken.
In that case, you are not equipped to guide our children and you should resign. Let someone who finds it easier to set and enforce clear standards of behavior take the lead.
- Mother of University Students