Managing editor Aprill Emig sat down with the chancellor to get his response on the above study’s results and ask what he thinks his responsibility as chancellor is to address the issue of sexual assault on campus. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think that this response here which is the prevalent response is too low. With the national attention on sexual assault on college campuses I would have expected people to be in much more agreement about the prevalence of sexual assault. And it’s surprising but not surprising that so many say it’s a problem but not a problem at our own campus.
I think part of having a better campus climate is understanding where the problems are. I think if we don’t admit where problems are, we don’t accept the things that are going on and it makes it more difficult to address them.
It’s important to attack (the issue of sexual assault on campus) from many different angles: Helping to better educate people about alcohol use and abuse, helping to educate young women how to best protect themselves, helping to educate young men in more responsible behavior. I also think environment is a factor: is our campus safe in terms of lighting and those kinds of issues.
It’s also not accepting that ‘it just happens’ or that ‘it’s just part of college life.’ These beliefs are not acceptable, but unfortunately people still have a lot of the ideas that people are just here to party, and (sexual assault) is the result. But it shouldn’t.”