In October 2013, a group of current and former students accused the University of Connecticut of violating Title IX by mishandling their sexual assault cases which occurred at the school between 2010 and 2013. The Department of Education’s Office For Civil Rights launched an investigation into the school and whether it failed to follow the gender equality law that provides equal opportunity and access to education.
UCONN still refuses to broadly take responsibility for its failures. But today it was announced that the school is settling with five of the students it is accused of failing. Keep reading »
It has the elements of so many sexual assault allegations before it: fraternity members, a lot of alcohol, football players, freshman girls. And like too many other stories about sexual assault, this one also includes a university that failed a sexual assault victim and allowed campus rapists to get off scot-free.
This weekend, The New York Times published a gut-punch of a piece (on their front page, in fact) about a young woman called Anna who is a student at Hobart & William Smith, a college in upstate New York. During her first few weeks of college, Anna was sexually assaulted while drunk by several football players on the night of a frat party. After Anna sent texts that she was afraid, a friend found her drunkenly bent over a pool table, face down, surrounded by six or seven football players, including one right behind her who had his pants down. Keep reading »
James Madison University in Virginia allowed three frat boys found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman and distributing video of it to stay on campus until graduation, even for years.
According to the Huffington Post, Sarah Butters, then a sophomore and a sorority member, was sexually assaulted in Panama City, Florida, on a spring break vacation in 2013. She later learned that the three young men, whom she had considered her friends, had filmed video of the assault inside a bathroom and passed it around.
In the video, Butters is blackout drunk, topless and being groped as the men try to take off her underwear/bathing suit bottom. She is heard saying “This isn’t okay, this isn’t a good idea.” She told WHSV news, “I’m clearly, like, not really able to defend myself or fight them off. We were in an enclosed bathroom. It was three of them surrounding me and none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.”
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The other day I saw clickbait on the Internet called something like “10 Things You Find In Every Graduation Speech.” I didn’t click, but the headline stuck in my mind. Graduation is supposed to be a celebration of your hard work, a launch into the adult working world. A graduation speaker is someone chosen to offer wisdom and insight into this momentous rite of passage. Have graduation speeches really gotten so formulaic that they can slapped together with GIFs on BuzzFeed? (I guess they must? I only graduated nine years ago and I don’t even remember who my speaker was or what she said.)
I’ve been thinking about this lately because today, our editorial assistant Claire is graduating from college. Yesterday afternoon, we broke out the pink booze and mini eclairs to toast to no more finals and 10-page papers. As The Frisky staff sat around — all of us between five to 15 years out of college — we all had advice for Claire about being launched into the grownup world. Some of it was practical. Some of it was financial. All of it was honest and most assuredly more useful than whatever’s being said about “character” and “grit” and “passion” at graduations across the land this week. Those things are important, too, but they’re so vague you can make a GIFicle about them.
It made me wish I was the sort of “important person” who could be asked to give a commencement address. Seeing as I’m not an famous actor or a famous editor or really anyone important in particular, I don’t really see that happening. So for Claire, and for everyone else who may or may not have deeper thoughts on life than Charlie Day from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” here’s what I would say if someone asked me to give a commencement speech. Keep reading »