Very big news broke out of our campus this week.
In an instant, a former MU athlete – and MU itself – was catapulted to the national spotlight. We all know what I’m talking about.
Because of Michael Sam, important dialogues are now happening all over the nation and all over this campus. This is a big step forward.
But, let’s not forget why MU was in the national spotlight just a few weeks ago. Let’s not take five steps back.
A column by our own Stephanie Ebbs summed up everything I wanted to say with this title, “Keep moving forward in the MU dialogue about sexual assault, rape.”
As Stephanie says….
“The problem is this: The rape culture will not go away just because people stop talking about it. Menu Courey was not the first to accuse MU athletes of sexual assault, nor will she be the last. This was not the first time allegations of sexual assault have been mishandled, nor will it be the last.”
I have been working on an article that will hit on faculty and staff training/obligations under Title IX. These topics — such as a “mandatory reporting requirement” in situations of a student reporting sexual harassment or assault — are not black and white.
These topics are difficult and tragic. They are gray. Even so, they have to be discussed on this campus. As I’m finding through my reporting, confusion and conflicting statements run amuck in regard to how MU faculty/staff should handle the complicated situation of a student disclosing to them sensitive, personal information. What I mean by “sensitive, personal information,” is, of course, situations of sexual harassment or assault.
With statistics as staggering as they are (one in five women is sexually assaulted during her college years), there has never been a more necessary time to talk about how college campuses can use Tile IX to prevent harassment or assault.
So, as students and journalists, let’s not let this one be swept back under the rug. Let’s keep the discussion moving forward. Let’s take a step.