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Lady Spartans: How To Stay Safe on Campus

Every true Spartan girl loves our beautiful campus – but the truth is it might not love us back. 


There have been two reported sexual assaults allegedly by strangers on Michigan State University's campus since Halloween – more proof that this campus may be a rape culture.  


According to the MSU Police Department, there were two reports of sexual assaults on Halloween weekend - one of which took place at Armstrong Hall in the Brody Complex and allegedly involved a stranger. 


This past week, a 19-year-old female student reported a sexual assault between 4:30 -5 p.m. on November 12, 2011 between South Neighborhood and MSU's Main Library, according to MSU Police. 


Due to the alleged involvement of a stranger, MSU police Chief Jim Dunlap sent an email alerting all students to the danger.


Two such reports, aside from others not involving strangers, in less than three weeks is extremely concerning for the MSU community. Stranger-rape and assault are the most unlikely form of sexual assault. 


Perhaps even more worrisome is the timing of these reports – just a short time after MSU’s first ever “Slut Walk.” 


State’s “Slut Walk” took place on Friday, Sept. 30 and aimed to protest and bring attention to the “rape culture” on campus, according to astrophysics senior Suni Jo Roberts. 

“Slut Walk” was organized to protest the “rape culture” that blames victims of sexual violence, said protestor and women’s and gender studies sophomore Kim Kaiser. This protest, in which many women purposely dress as “sluts”, has taken root across the world in response to a Toronto police officer saying that rape was related to women dressing as “sluts.”

This was not the first on-campus protest about safety on campus. 


Michigan State University’s Coalition Against Sexual Violence hosted a march and teach-in called “Day of Rage,” earlier this past year. 


So what is MSU doing wrong?


Ricardo Johnson, an electrical engineering junior said, “They do a lot of patrolling with the police cars and I think that’s good, but they have the wrong target. Targeting kids that are drunk or being destructive, that’s not enough.”

According to Dr. Rebecca Campbell, a psychology professor at MSU, there is definitely a rape culture on this campus and in society. 

“Not enough (is) being done to hold perpetrators accountable for rape,” said Campbell.

According to MSU police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor, the university does “quite a bit” to prevent cases of sexual violence and help victims.

McGlothian-Taylor said that the MSU police work closely with the Counseling Center Sexual Assault Program, and have a sexual assault response guarantee, which can be found on their Website. MSU is the only campus she knows of with a “Safe Place” for victims of sexual assault and relationship violence.

Many factors can make college a dangerous time when it comes to sexual violence, said Campbell.

Data indicates that adolescence, which goes into the early 20s, is the peak age range for sexual assault, said Campbell.

“Because most college students are in that age range, by default, there will be a lot of sexual assaults in college settings,” said Campbell.

Campbell said other factors that increase the risk of rape and sexual assault include drinking and male-dominated peer groups like some athletics and fraternities, and are common to college campuses. The combination of factors increases the likeliness of sexual violence on a college campus.


Even with these factors, Spartan women can take measures to arm themselves with knowledge and protect themselves. 


Check out the safety resources found on MSU’s Website, through the MSU police, or the Counseling Center so you can stay safe. 


Remember there is safety in numbers! Spartan ladies need to stick together! 

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