GUSA & the Sexual Assault MOU

This comment was originally published over at The Voice, but then they deleted it a few hours later, so we're publishing it here with two paragraphs at the beginning to serve as an intro.  We've added a few lines, though haven't taken any away.  So much for being willing to discuss diverse ideas, huh?  Remember this next time The Voice condemns the University for refusing to recognize H*yas for Abortion or some other left-wing, anti-Catholic group or individual.

Yesterday The Voice published a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between GUSA and University administrators involving the "reform" of Georgetown's sexual assault policies.  We found it interesting how nothing in the MOU talks about ensuring these cases get investigated by legal authorities so that rapists may be held accountable.  

You can read the MOU yourself, but in sum, it's about "empowering" students via bystander training, putting up a bunch of stickers in bathrooms, hiring another full-time administrator (because tuition isn't already high enough), performing a climate survey, and agreeing to have, well, many more discussions.

Ultimately, the MOU is meaningless. 

No one is going to empower anyone.  A training presentation for students about stepping in and saying something isn't going to be the tipping point for whether or not Hoyas actually step in and say something.  Intoxication levels, social familiarity, and whether or not a threat is perceived when a couple leaves a party will be the criteria, assuming one's friends see them leave in the first place.  

And let's face it: we all go home at times when we or our partner (or both of us) are drunk because people like to get laid, alcohol eases social interactions, and a drunk person consenting is still legally valid consent, even if the next day brings regret and someone later wants to call it rape.  Bystander intervention isn't going to stop any rapes unless the bystander happens to be sitting nearby watching the hook-up and listening in to what's going on.  That said, gents, make sure you actually do get consent.  It's a very easy thing to do, and there is no excuse not to.  And while the law won't touch you, the crazy feminist harpies in the administration might.  But if they do, be ready to sue.  

And the stickers?  Seriously?  Everyone is familiar with how to call 911.  We are all aware the left-wing, anti-Catholic, radical feminist Womyn's Center exists.  And without anyone saying anything, every student knows how to use Google to find services that are available for rape victims, both on and off campus.  Stickers and putting the info on the back of GOCards or in stalls isn't going to tell someone something they don't already know.

The whole stickers in bathrooms initiative is theater, like TSA security checkpoints at airports.  All it's meant to do is give advocates (and GUSA and the University) a box to check saying they did something, even if it's nothing meaningful.  We guarantee Joe and Connor will put it in the press release at the end of their term as an accomplishment, though it will have no effect, whatsoever.  The stickers and GOCard initiative is more about promoting the narrative that at Georgetown a rape culture exists (when it doesn't) and rape is widespread (which it isn't).  This is necessary for feminists and social justice warriors because it helps them constantly push the idea that women are perpetual victims and need preferential treatment and programs dedicated to them, like special centers, programs, administrators, classes, scholarships, and ultimately, different (read lower) standards than those by which men are held.

The rest of the MOU is really about discussions and climate surveys.  Just a lot of talk, really. The only troublesome thing we found is the move to absolve those who claim to be "survivors" from responsibility for doing poorly in school via a review of current policies so as to reduce or eliminate any financial burdens they may have and attribute to their alleged rape.  Previous efforts by those working on this issue also included attempts at removing the academic responsibilities of those who alleged they were raped, though eliminating these academic standards does not appear in the current MOU.

This is all about Willa.  

We don't know if she was sexually assaulted or not, but as fellow Hoyas in the Georgetown family we're inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt and offer our support to her in getting the help she needs.  We do know, however, that she didn't tell the police or the University about it until she was already suspended for failing to meet GU's minimum academic requirements, more than a year after the alleged assault happened.  

Furthermore, we know she only went public once she failed a course during summer session and was up for expulsion, and did so in a condemnatory, highly dramatic article obviously meant to pressure the University into tossing academic standards in the trash bin. Frankly, it reminded us of the Rolling Stone piece about the University of Virginia.  We also note that aside from telling GUPD she was sexually assaulted, she didn't stick around to give them any of the details, claiming to be offended by two anodyne comments which made her "re-traumatized" and caused her to walk out.    

We wonder if the administration realizes that if they set up a system in which claiming you were raped becomes a free pass to get out of your academic obligations and/or financial responsibilities, then they've created an incentive for students to abuse the system and cry wolf whenever it suits them.   

Just imagine: a student goes to Georgetown and after two years decides she just doesn't like college and wants to go and do something else for which she needs no degree.  Or she doesn't do well in school because she's not studying and is too busy on Tumblr and mainlining Netflix.  She doesn't want to pay those loans or the money she owes in tuition. We're talking tens of thousands of dollars.  How do you get that debt wiped out if you want to leave the Hilltop?  And how do you avoid suspension or being expelled for not hacking it in the event you want to stay?

Simple: claim you were raped.  

Sadly, the one thing that can most prevent rape, which is the mandatory reporting of rapes to legal authorities so they can remove rapists from campus and lock them up, isn't mentioned once.  Neither is telling folks to not get drunk and/or put themselves in situations which make them vulnerable to criminal behavior.  

Now, do we have a right to get drunk and not be assaulted?  Absolutely.  But we also have a right to leave cash out in the open and unattended in a public space and not have it stolen.  Smart, responsible people, take precautions and do what they can to prevent becoming the victims of criminals.  

Even one rape occurring in this world is a tragedy and it would be great if we could eliminate this evil from our planet.  But it won't happen because evil people exist.  And the way to stop evil people from engaging in evil acts like rape is to identify them and lock them up.  Until Georgetown puts a reform in place to ensure mandatory reporting happens, then MOU's like the one GUSA and the University just signed aren't worth the paper they're printed on.  And sadly, sexual assaults that could have been prevented will continue to occur, because rapists are allowed to remain on the loose and without punishment..