There was tension in the air this past weekend as Brett Kavanaugh, accused of sexual assault, was confirmed to be the supreme court justice. Many were confused as to how this happened while others celebrated his confirmation on social media. The hashtag #Beers4Brett went viral as citizens and politicians posed with alcoholic beverages and toasted to Kavanaugh’s newly appointed judicial position. The hashtag started when Kavanaugh mentioned several times during his trial his liking of beer. Opposers label this social media craze as waving a victory flag over sexual assault victims.
Kavanaugh’s case is very comparable to popular opinions about sexual assault and alcohol on college campuses. According to Unigo, a website where students of Universities can write reviews and rate their school, WSU is known for being a party school. At a place where lots of alcohol is being consumed, there is speculation that sexual assault is bound to happen. Like Kavanaugh’s case, people use alcohol as an excuse for sexual assault. Women’s experiences are often overlooked depending on what she was wearing, or drinking, that night. This is unfair to the 23.1% of undergraduate females that are raped or assaulted during college as proven by Rainn.org.
Because sexual assault is so common on college campuses, it is important for students to be aware of the resources available in case they need help. Cougar health services provides free counseling and medical care to victims of sexual violence. Victim advocates at Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse can also be of service.
Diminishing the stereotypes of WSU and validating the feelings of women in our community is the next step in creating a safer environment for college students. Don’t let anyone use alcohol as an excuse for hurting someone. Maybe this will influence the next politician to not make the same mistakes their predecessor has.