An Open Letter to Davidson College:

An Open Letter to Davidson College:           

Last week the biggest news at Davidson was a $100 bill pinned up in the Union. Apparently some guy found the money on the ground and since it wasn’t his in Davidson fashion he turned it in, so the rightful owner could come claim the money. This incident has turned into a “moment”—I have seen so many students posting/sharing a photo of the a $100 bill on Facebook with comments lauding Davidson for the power of the Honor Code and the integrity of the student body. But to be honest, I’m angry.

The night before the $100 bill incident we as Davidson students received our second timely warning of the semester from Chief Sigler informing us “a female student has been sexually assaulted by an individual who is known to her.” Since school started, two female students have already reported that they were sexually assaulted. I did the math: if this continues by the end of this semester alone 10 students at Davidson College will have reported being sexually assaulted on campus (and remember statistically only about 40% of rapes are reported to the police). Have I seen any Facebook posts about this? Nope. It makes me wonder why.

I’m not saying a student showing integrity about finding $100 is not important, but I am saying that the safety of even one female student on Davidson’s campus is far more important. I know that for some people talking about sexual assault at Davidson is hard. I know we want to think that Davidson is “not that type of school.” But the reality is if we want Davidson to not be that type of school then we need to be far better as a community.

As Davidson students we need to be better. We need to watch out for our friends and their safety. We need to step in when we observe something happening that looks questionable. We need to question our friends if we see them making sexually inappropriate advances towards someone else. We cannot continue to be bystanders. We need to speak up, stand up, and not continue to ignore the fact that sexual assault is a problem on Davidson’s campus.

I love Davidson just as much as anyone else. I get it. I am proud of this school in so many ways. But I can’t let this go. If we want to celebrate the Honor Code as a document of integrity on campus, we need to live out that integrity in all aspects of campus culture. Let’s not just celebrate a student who turns in $100 because of the Honor Code (by the way, guy who turned in the money, you rock). Let’s work together to make Davidson a campus that does not tolerate sexual assault and that if an assault happens does not stay silent, but speaks up and says that this is unacceptable. We are a community of honor—let’s make sure we act like one.

If you want to learn more about sexual assault at Davidson read the following:

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