WSA holds town meeting

By Scott Tibbs

On April 7, the Women's Student Association held a town meeting to discuss ways to combat sexual assault of IU Students, on campus and off. WSA Herstorian Eve Shapiro noted this meeting had been called because many sexual assault victims had come to WSA because they did not know where to turn. Shapiro noted a lot of resources exist, but victims do not know where to turn when assaulted. Present at the meeting were representatives of the IU Police Department, the Office of Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment Programs, Middle Way House, Panhellenic Association, the Sexual Assault Crisis Service.

The organizations all noted they try to work together, and offer information on the assistance the other organizations can offer in the event the victim needs them. But representatives from the organizations said the difficulties in informing students about the services, because nobody ever thinks they will need them until an assault occurs. They did note that all Residence Assistants are trained in how to direct rape victims to the places they need to go. They also explained that each rape victim wants to follow a different path, and one set program would not meet their needs. However, unlike Middle Way House, IU does not have a 24 hour a day rape crisis hotline.

When the possibility of a zero tolerance policy for rapists was raised, Office of student Ethics director Pam Freeman claimed a zero tolerance policy would be difficult to enforce and should not be implemented if the victim does not want the rapist thrown off campus.

WSA President Regan Rush agreed with the proposed zero tolerance policy, in which offenders are permanently expelled from IU if found responsible for a rape. Rush also agreed with the suggestion that graduation requirements at IU include a course on rape awareness and prevention.

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Bryan Wilhelm

Bryant Lewis
Joel Corbin