Occidental Students Say the College Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Illustration for article titled Occidental Students Say the College Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Occidental College's administration is under fire for failing to report an alleged sexual assault last week; students learned about the incident from the local media, not the school.

Officials have defended the decision by saying it was determined there was no "continuing threat" following the report, as Barbara J. Avery, dean of students, wrote in an email sent Thursday to the community.

Illustration for article titled Occidental Students Say the College Has a Sexual Assault Problem
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"Had this been a case where a student was assaulted by a person unknown, or a case where the college determined that there was a continuing threat, we would have immediately issued a campus alert, as we have in the past," Avery wrote. "This case, while very serious, was determined not to constitute a continuing threat."

But multiple Occidental students who don't buy that excuse told us that last week's events are just the tip of the iceberg. One wrote:

The media is reporting about one incident where the college has swept a rape case under the rug, but they have no idea how big of a deal this is. There have been 3 rape cases in the last 2 weeks and none of them were reported to the campus as the sexual conduct policy mandates. Over the last year there have been numerous rape trials (full of victim blaming and re-traumatization) that have ended with survivors STILL having to be in class with their convicted rapists.

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Occidental's Sexual Assault Coalition is leading a campus-wide movement, and a group of anonymous students launched a "Dear Oxy" Tumblr and an anonymous sexual violence reporting form.

[LAT]

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DISCUSSION

wingardium-furiosa
WingardiumFuriosa

I'm honestly kind of confused. I wouldn't think colleges should send out campus alerts about individual cases of sexual assault.

I would think there would be a lot of cases where the victim would want the situation to be addressed and their attacker brought to justice without necessarily bringing the event to the attention of the entire community. I know that the situation is often not addressed and the attackers seem to be rarely brought to justice... but that doesn't seem to be what they are talking about here.