There’s been a lot of talk about the policy the Student Government Association (SGA) drafted that would allow male guests to spend the night on campus. It has been stated that male guests should be allowed on campus overnight simply because female guests are allowed. There’s even been talk that by not allowing males to stay overnight, it’s targeting heterosexual women because they need their partners up here too. But a lot of people are ignoring the bigger picture – what about rape?
Rape is the topic of talk given to many young women all over right before they enter college. It’s extremely stressed because there’s always that one incident that breaks the news, prompting you to think about how tragic it would be if it happened to you or someone you know. College rape is a pressing issue that continues to become worse. In fact, sexual violence is more rife at college. Statistics show that college aged women (18-24) are at a higher risk of sexual violence. Among all students, 1.2% experience sexual violence. 23% of women and 5.4% of men will experience rape or sexual assault as undergraduates. A study has shown that most occurrences of college rape occur in dorm rooms. The majority of victims know their attacker as a friend or acquaintance.
Another study has shown that freshmen and sophomores are at a higher risk of being assaulted. The study also shows that the first semester is also known as the red zone, or the most dangerous time of year for college women, especially between the hours of midnight and six AM. It has also been estimated that for every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there will be 35 incidents each academic year.
Despite the statistics that you can literally find anywhere, people seem to act like they don’t know. There have even been ignorant statements said along the lines of, “if you’re gonna get raped, it’ll be in broad daylight”. The desperation to have males on campus is so deep that students argue that they wish for their male relatives to be able to spend the night. That sounds completely legit, except for the fact that we all know someone such as a father isn’t going to want to stay in a dorm room, let alone rest comfortably. The true argument being expressed is, “if your girlfriend can stay, why can’t my boyfriend stay?”. SGA president Sara Hubaishi is optimistic about the policy change. “I know that there are some students who will feel weird about this policy change, but I strongly believe that it will improve the life of residents,” she said. I strongly disagree based on statistics and rampant incidents of college rape. Several people who I have spoken to absolutely hate the idea of this new policy.
Large counts of women at Brenau feel they would be safer attending a same sex college, where the chances of being sexually assaulted are significantly lower. Senior Mass Communication major Cassidy Collier states that she is strongly against the policy and feels that this would be a dramatic shift for the women of Brenau. “It would be a shame for something bad to happen for people to realize that this might not be the best idea,” she said, “but hey, if you generally don’t care about the issue of rape, maybe you should consider Brenau in general.” With the possibilities of a drop in enrollment, loss of Alumni donations, and traditions thrown out the window, having males stay overnight is a very debatable topic that’s causing much strife on campus.