Only 3 rapes reported at USU during ’16; not enough is being done

Letter to editor

    Sexual assault prevention seems to be one of the two major topics pursued by the USUSA, the other being the recognition of diversity. The focus on sexual assault can be seen from posters on Aggie shuttles, to the I Will campaign of sticky-notes, to all three USUSA presidential candidates having plans on how to promote sexual assault prevention. Sexual assault is not a two sided issue, it is wrong from all angles, but some of the solutions on how to remedy it are different. Looking at USU’s 2016 Clery Report (look it up, it’s a good read), there were 3 rapes reported for campus. USU, along with all other universities in the state of Utah, have very low sexual assault statistics relative to the rest of the country. Reported statistics in this area are obviously always lower than what actually happens. Though USU does not have an increasing trend towards sexual violence that would promote a campaign, any sexual assault is worth preventing.

    I personally do not feel that a graphic on a bus or a school website describing the word “consent” in regards to sex did anything for me. My morals already force me to get full consent, and I doubt someone willing to assault another person would be swayed by a poster. Though I put my name on a sticky note saying I Will prevent sexual assault, this was not a moment of awakening for me, I would not tolerate sexual assault any more or less after this campaign as my character already forces me to not be a bystander to sexual assault. I feel an campaign designed to encourage reporting that puts sexual predators behind bars would be a better way to prevent sexual assault.

    As can be seen in the recent cases of student-athlete Torrey Green and in Sigma Chi fraternity member Jason Relopez, sexual predators continue to sexually assault people until reports are made and an arrest is made. I feel a campaign that encourages specific reporting in a safe environment, such as at the SAAVI office, with an outcome of getting evil-people in prison would be more beneficial than what has been done of late. I’ve attended multiple parties, from fraternity parties to Mardi Gras to Howl after-parties, and I have not seen sexual assault tolerated. I believe sexual assaults come from a very small portion of our Aggie population, and people in this portion needs to be in prison.

    Michael Scott Peters, our newly elected USUSA president, believes sexual assault stems from a lack of gender equality. Promotion of gender equality in an effort to stop sexual assault seems like a tangent to me. I hope that if USUSA continues to make sexual assault prevention one of their major goals that they consider campaigns that fix the problem, instead of telling the 99.9% things we already know.

— Kyle Stark

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