Despite great strides, Trinity still has far to go with sexual misconduct

Colleges and universities all over the country, including Trinity, are finally taking initiatives to assess and improve their policies, procedures, and training for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct. There are constantly stories on the news about victims being blamed, institution’s covering it up, and accusers not being punished for their crimes.
Although I am not sure what finally got the ball rolling on addressing the nationwide problem, perhaps it was the release of the compelling documentary The Hunting Ground or simply many victims could not handle being silenced anymore. Either way, it is much overdue and institutions needed to start taking this issue seriously.
Since President Berger-Sweeney’s arrival at Trinity, she has made this issue one of her main focuses. The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct was formed and now Trinity’s Sexual Misconduct Policy is being updated. The policy is clear, detailed, and extensive so every member of the community knows where the College stands on the issue and what they can expect as an individual. However, there is one major change that also needs to take place – better communication.
I have friends that attend many different types of schools: NESCACs, state schools, Ivy League schools, etc. In conversation, they have mentioned how often sexual assault takes place on their campuses because they are always sent out an email. Sometimes it is as often as every week. However, many students at Trinity do not think that rape and sexual assault are issues on our campus because they never hear about it.
At Trinity, when it comes to the issue of sexual misconduct, there is almost no information being communicated between the administration and student body. Any time there is a robbery or an assault takes place, an email is immediately sent out. However, that is not the case when it comes to sexual misconduct. No names, location, or details are needed; just a simple email that read “there was an accusation of sexual assault last night” would be enough to get the point across. These quick messages would make everyone on this campus aware of how often it actually occurs.
I’m not sure what the reason is behind this lack of communication. The first thing that comes to mind is legality and confidentiality. The victim may not want their name or information to be public or if the police are involved it could somehow compromise the case. But, legality and confidentiality do not prevent emails from being sent frequently at other institutions. So why is Trinity different?
Perhaps Trinity does not want to put this kind of information into something as public as an email. Yes, they include the reports of sexual misconduct in the Annual Security Report that is sent out to members of the community every year. But, those numbers are just a blur among many, many more. Or maybe administration hopes that students will that sexual misconduct and rape are not a serious issue on this campus and push this issue under the rug.
Despite the reason, this lack of communication has a significant effect on our campus’ view of sexual misconduct and, in order to take action, our students need to be informed.

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