I saw some horrifying data yesterday.
AlcoholEdu. Ever heard of it? Unless you’re a senior, you did it. Here are some of the results:
In August of 2010, a full 8.65% of the incoming freshman Class of 2014 reported having been taken advantage of sexually, in one form or another, during the preceding two weeks while drinking. Fast forward two months into their first semester, that figure jumped to 13.48%, again during only the preceding two weeks. A similar jump occurred for the incoming freshman Class of 2015 a year later (going from 8.80% to 14.16%) and then again this year for the incoming freshman Class of 2016 (going from 4.49% to 10.49%). Even more chilling were the accompanying figures: 8.46% of the incoming Class of 2014 self-reported having taken advantage of someone sexually in the preceding two weeks, and this figure only dropped by 1.06% two months into school. For the freshman Class of 2015, the starting figure was only 4.28%, but then this number increased to 9.09% after two months, a similar trend reflected this year in the Class of 2016 (starting at 4.20% and increasing to 6.23%).
These self-reported, population-wide figures indicate that approximately 100 incidents of sexual misconduct occur during any two week period at Wesleyan for members of the freshman class alone, and only including those occasions when alcohol was involved.
I’ve written about the monstrosity of sexual assault before. It’s (sadly) been a frequent (and pressing) topic of conversation in the college blogosphere of late. I don’t need to re-hash everything — it’s in the links — but clearly the subject merits continued conversation (as if that was ever unclear). Let’s review some basic facts:
- Sexual assault is bad.
- Sexual assault should not be permitted or perpetrated.
- Sexual assault is both permitted (culturally) and perpetrated (constantly).
A fourth crucial fact is that you (yes, you) are responsible, just like everyone else, for the prevention of sexual assault. And boy-oh-boy is it preventable.