Home / Fall 2015 / Education on sexual assaults on college campuses and the solutions to stop the cycle

Education on sexual assaults on college campuses and the solutions to stop the cycle

Teaching assistant Anna Kaszuba participates in a discussion about effective ways of confronting racist, sexist and homophobic behavior in a First Year Campus Acquaintance Rape Education class at the University of Illinois on Oct. 15, 2015 in Urbana-Champaign, Ill. The FYCARE workshop, which is mandatory for all first-year students, aims to educate students about on campus sexual assault, promote discussion and encourage students to look out for the safety and well-being of their fellow students. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Written by Kenzie Kesselring, Opinions Editor

It’s no secret that sexual assault is a huge issue across the country, but what schools are doing to stop it can be a little less obvious.

Some colleges send out anonymous surveys to their students asking questions about their experiences with sexual assault; others make female, and sometimes male, students attend seminar after seminar on how to protect themselves against sexual assault.

Both of these practices are done with good intentions, but are they enough?

Surveys simply find out how many students have been subjected to sexual assault. They don’t solve anything; they simply gather numbers for universities.

Sending girls to seminars only reinforces the idea that sexual assault is only a problem for women. Being a college female, I cannot begin to tell you how many seminars I have been forced to attend that tell me to “never set your drink down in a bar,” and to “never walk alone.” It is exhausting, and it is not solving anything.

These approaches are not working. They will never work. They let a cycle continue and never solve the serious problem that is sexual assault on campus.

So what is the solution? Is there anything more colleges should be doing?

According to the Huffington Post there is a very simple and non-sexist way to end this epidemic.

The best way to end this life altering risk college students face is by teaching students to intervene when they see a fellow student at risk for sexual assault and holding each other accountable.

A survey done by the Association of American Universities says that nearly 77 percent of students have chosen not to intervene when they witnessed someone being put into a situation that could easily lead to assault.

So instead of shuffling college aged women into seminars where they are taught to be afraid, colleges need to send all of their students into seminars that teach them to hold each other accountable in their actions and to look out for one another in settings that are breeding grounds for sexual assault incidents.

It is a well-known fact that most assaults are done by a person the victim previously knows, so what better way to help end this than to teach men and women to hold each other responsible for their actions? Encouraging one another to go to the authorities when they have been sexually assaulted is a way that consequences will finally be attached to this horrible action.

The final and best way to end this epidemic is by encouraging people to put an end to sexual assault when they see it unfolding in front of them.

By coming together, we as college students can put a stop to sexual assaults on campus. We just have to stand up, encourage one another, and be courageous enough to put an end to this.

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