Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I'm tired of the Democrats

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The scandal ridden establishment democrats have met their sad failure. After an election that was plagued with drama from both sides, drama, untrustworthiness, and the ultimate huge loss of the presidency and congress, it’s time to get it together. Democrats need to stop pretending to be champions for the working class and other marginalized groups. The jig is up.

As Viet Thanh Nguyen writes for the New York Times, all policies have been aimed at imperialism abroad, and not enough work done to keep all groups of people happy domestically.

“That sickness is imperialism. America is an imperial country, and its decay might now be showing. The power that has brought so much benefit to the country — for white people — is now faltering in its ability to provide those benefits to all white people. The empire’s best hope is to be more inclusive, demographically and economically, but that runs counter to the imperial impulse to hoard power and profit.”

Now not every democrat is a bad egg (and there sure are way more on the other side of the aisle) In fact, they are all good people but some of them just have bad habits. One of the biggest blemishes of the 2016 bid for the presidency was the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.  Her establishment politics pushed Bernie Sanders out of any chance of winning in the primaries, favoring Hillary in any and all cases. Not only were here emails revealed to prove her dislike of Sanders, but her bid for Hillary lost the dems this election.

We will never know if Bernie Sanders would have won if it were him instead of Hillary. But there is overwhelming evidence pointing to his win if that were to have been the case. Maybe an unfortunate truth is that Americans aren’t ready for female leadership. But more specifically, Hillary’s leadership. She has been tagged by conservative slandering for twenty years, her time in senate and as Secretary of State was rocky to say the least, and I think our eyes may all get stuck rolled back into our heads if we hear the word “emails” one more time. But aside from that, she really is a war hawk and she would continue to perpetuate policy that bolstered our imperialist tendencies.

“If Hillary Clinton had won, she would have run again in 2020, which could have meant four more years of Wall Street liberalism and fire-and-forget perpetual warfare, conducted by drones and Special Operations over the horizon.”

She is untrustworthy, let’s admit it. Even if you can sit down with her over coffee and see that she is a good person...as a politician she is a bit shady. Bernie Sanders has had decades of a clean track record. But more importantly, his message was powerful, while Hillary’s was dull. Sanders played to a similar if not the same populist movement as Trump did. He was looking to reexamine and possibly dismantle the status quo for the good of the people. While Hillary was gradually changing to more progressive (with nudges from Sanders and Warren), it was disingenuous and many people saw right through her.

There are many flaws in the Democratic party, namely their candidate Hillary. Yes, she is a dedicated public servant who has been defamed by the nasty right for decades. But she is also deeply, deeply establishment and so is her entourage. This nation, and this generation wants a change and wants something that stands up to the status quo. And unfortunately, we got the worst case scenario of that.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

It's time for Calexit


As the fifth largest economy in the world, it’s time for California to secede from the United States, and stop letting them leech off our prosperity. California is in a league of it’s own, and it's exceptionally more progressive than the United States as a whole.

The victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 election, paired with his powerful Republican held congress has prompted fear in a large portion of America. This country is up in arms about the current state of politics and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The U.S. is going to struggle to survive, while California is ready to thrive.

This deep blue state is ages ahead of the rest of the country. California is the home to Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world, bubbling with innovation, competition, opportunity, and brilliant minds. We have some of the most sought after higher education institutions in the world, popular tourism, and a bountiful and self-sustaining agriculture industry.

Of course, California is not all good. Public education is failing students and communities, with some of the most underserved school districts in the nation. Soaring rates of homelessness have overrun urban areas. And a historic drought is threatening residents and ecosystems in the state. But these problems can be addressed through a Calexit.

The overwhelming amounts of federal taxes that California has to pay to subsidize other failing states of the U.S. could be better used to rebuild the infrastructure of California. Already a progressive state, California has been a trailblazer for green initiatives while the rest of the country has lagged behind. A new Trump presidency means a band of climate change deniers will be festering all over capitol hill.

We can only do so much while still attached to the U.S. Being state that’s nearly half on the coast, and 68% of Californians living on the coast, we need our leaders to take climate change seriously. Fragile ecosystems and rising tides are no joke. The livelihood of California relies on progressive and fast-acting legislation on climate change. And that is not going to happen at the federal level.

California is nearing the 5th largest economy in the world, surpassing France and the UK in GDP. With our powerful agriculture industry, our exports would maintain a booming economy and our tech industry will remain strong and competitive in a Calexit.

A Calexit is entirely possible and here’s how. If the amount of federal taxes leaving the state were to remain, and California were to become it’s own country, that excess of tax dollars could allow us to become more like Nordic countries. Socialized healthcare, a surplus of tax dollars to help failing schools and homeless, and competitive trade will help California to flourish independent from the United States.

What’s more, the newly passed Prop 64, legalization of recreational marijuana, will also be a pillar in the California economy. The sale and taxation of recreational marijuana is expected to generate $1 billion in revenues annually. Although the proposition is poorly written, and revenue from marijuana won’t go directly into K-12 educational funding, it can be easily amended once the kinks are ironed out.

The secession from the United States would be historic, but it needs to be well thought out. Brexit was controversial and has led to great economic pitfalls, with the British pound hitting a 30 year low. Additionally, they have been plagued with racial divides, as hate crimes and discrimination are skyrocketing around the UK.

California prides itself on it’s hefty immigrant population. They contribute not only to the robust economy, but to the vibrant culture of California. We are one of the most diverse states in the country and, through a Calexit, have the ability to protect ourselves and our people from the anti-immigrant sentiments that have infected the United States. Moreover, California’s population and economy are the most vulnerable to the radical Trump policy of mass deportation.

There would be a drastic transition indeed, but California is strong enough to become independent. Of course, the inland California border will not detach and allow us to float out to sea on our perfect California island. But we can, and should keep using the U.S. dollar, we will trade with the rest of the remaining United States, and we will be just fine.

An independent California means greater opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world’s progress. The red tape and stagnant congress at the federal level is holding California back. The campaign has begun and every Californian needs to be on board.

Beautiful beaches, brilliant people, progressive policies that will keep California in the lead. It’s time to stop letting the United States suck the life out of us. It’s time for a Calexit.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A is for Anxiety

College is a time when students explore, learn, and grow. But it’s not all good. High pressure universities with the grueling cult of busy coupled with the insane competitiveness on every front, means stress to the max. And this stress is not always easy or manageable. This stress can and is something more for a lot of college students and leads to crippling anxiety that affects not only their academic success but their physical and mental well being.

Starting with the title, Kristen Lee writes “Your Mental Health is More Important Than Your Grades” in her article for the Huffington Post, noting an important truth. The problem is, many universities are ill-equipped to handle a student population with rising mental health issues. With counseling centers severely understaffed, and mental health resources being scarce on campuses nationwide, students are left to fend for themselves.

Lee conducted a study to learn more about what can be done in these instances:

“students demonstrated there are ways around the mental avalanche, and that intense anxiety could be redirected and even harnessed in some situations. This study revealed that prevention is critical, and getting help and engaging in proactive, healthy behaviors made a difference, and was key to avoiding extreme distress”

All well and good, but as mentioned before, mental health resources on campus are scarce, and when utilized they are limited and under funded. At the University of Southern California for example, students with university health insurance are allowed three one on one sessions with a therapist per semester. And for students in a mental health crisis or with deep rooted and untreated mental health issues, three sessions is not enough. Moreover, the waitlist to see a counselor is weeks, even months long. And to see a psychiatrist to get treatment, is a whole semester long.

Additionally, students who experience a mental health crisis lack the resources and support they need to deal with that. It begins with faculty. Faculty at many campuses are undereducated when it comes to dealing with students who need accommodations in a mental health crisis. But some student organizations are taking action. The Academic Culture Assembly at University of Southern California is pushing a resolution through student senate to get a mental health resources blurb put in every class syllabus, and is working with Disability Services and Programs to expand faculty education and accommodations for mental health.

Limited resources and time make it difficult for students, who often put their grades before their health. But Lee attempts to provide some shaky solutions:

“Know that education is a privilege: It may be hard to remember when you are battling deadlines, but across the globe, educational opportunity is not a given right-not even close. Only a small percentage of the world population hold undergraduate, let alone advanced degrees. The fact that you have access to learning is a tremendous resource to cherish[….]Keeping this perspective is vital.”
Yes, education is a privilege, but comparing or minimizing someone’s experience based on their place in the world is unfair and counterproductive to the problem. Ignoring your health and not seeking help because you compared your situation to starving, uneducated children in third world countries is not a solution. What you should keep in perspective is your own health.

Ultimately, dealing with these mental health issues can be stressful, especially when in college. But prioritizing your health is what’s truly vital in your success. While resources are limited, don’t let it deter you from the help you deserve. A’s are awesome, but your health is even awesome-er.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Trust No Man

Have you heard the great news? There is now a proven drug trial that shows high effectiveness of a birth control for men. After decades of women having to put up with the side effects of various forms of birth control to protect ourselves from unwanted pregnancy, men can finally take the step towards responsible protection too! But unfortunately, the trial has been stopped and requires reexamining.

“just 20 of the men (out of 320, don’t forget) found the side effects of the injection intolerable and it was decided that more research needed to be done to try and counteract them. Those side effects included depression, muscle pain, mood swings, acne and changes to the libido.”

I think changes to mens’ libdo could be a good thing. But I digress. These side effects are very minor and have been tolerated by women since the dawn of oral contraceptives. Not to mention other forms of birth control that are terrifyingly worse. The implant that causes rapid weight gain and heavy irregular periods, the vaginal ring which has one of the highest risks of blood clots, and the IUD, which has an intensely painful insertion, can get imbedded in the uterus, and can cause infertility.

But us women do all this to protect our own bodies. As frustrating as it is that 20 of the men participating in the study found the side effects unbearable, would we really trust a man with the upkeep of birth control when ultimately it won’t be his problem when an unplanned pregnancy happens? Now this is not some feminist hating all men rant, this is a logical argument to preserve the right to protect our own bodies. In the heat of the moment with a new partner, when the question briefly arises and is now applicable to both the man and the woman, “are you on birth control?” That is not the time to take his word for it.

“When it comes to contraception, medicine is clearly biased towards men. Women can have such ailments as depression and acne thrust upon them for the greater good of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but the same level of discomfort cannot be expected of men.”

It’s quite laughable that some of the men involved in the study were not able to handle these side effects. It just reinforces the point that women have a significantly higher pain tolerance than men. But more importantly, the purpose of the medication outweighs the side effects when it’s for your own body. Maybe these men in the study found it appropriate to claim these intolerable side effects because this medication would not be necessary to men. But for women who want to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy, it really is. Frustration aside, protect yourself, and don’t leave the responsibility of protection up to the man.
And here is a video of some dudes experiencing labor pain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Does hard work really pay off?

When I was sitting at the transfer student orientation last summer, I was sitting alone, scanning the room hoping to make some friends at my new school. Transfer students take a different path, I thought, we go to community college to save money, and to work part time to save up before the big move to a four-year. But here at the big fancy private school, I realized most transfer students were just kids who got bored after their first two years at a different fancy private school and wanted to come to a new one (disclaimer: this isn’t always the case). So I’m sitting alone, and this guy comes to sit next to me. We start chatting and eventually get on the topic of tuition, as I voice my concerns about how I will afford this school, he proceeds to say, “well I hope they take AMEX” and laughs. In a brief interaction, I realized he would likely be leaving this school with no debt, and I would be leaving with over $80,000.

Image result for rich college kids

In college we are told to work hard, push through those sleepless nights, and it will all pay off. And sometimes it does. But as Matt O’Brian writes for the Washington Post, rich kids have an advantage. And not just financially, because that’s an obvious fact.

"opportunity hoarding," includes everything from legacy college admissions to unpaid internships that let affluent parents rig the game a little more in their children's favor.
On the campus of an affluent and prestigious private school, there is an obvious divide. While I’m sitting in class, worrying about if I can financially manage to take one day off my part time job to study more for midterms ... then glance over the shoulder at the girl’s computer screen in front of me as she scrolls through the Alexander Wang website and casually adds a $275 bralette to her shopping cart. And there’s a false hope that if less advantaged kids just work a little harder, they could get ahead, but the truth of the matter is that there are some people whose privilege will do all the work for them.
“[L]ow-income kids would still have a hard time getting ahead. That's, in part, because they're targets for diploma mills that load them up with debt, but not a lot of prospects. And even if they do get a good degree, at least when it comes to black families, they're more likely to still live in impoverished neighborhoods that keep them disconnected from opportunities.”
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The burden of student debt has proven to be a huge obstacle. Between a rich college graduate and a poor one, with the same credentials, the same golden ticket aka degree from that prestigious university, working the same job … the poor kid will still struggle to live a comfortable life. Because the hard earned income will go to paying off the student debt and they will continue to sacrifice luxuries because of that.
There are of course students who come from wealthy backgrounds, who work just as hard to get to where they are, and are fortunate to not have to graduate with mountains of student debt. But we can’t deny that there is also a large portion of students who have it easy. And their ride to the top is a nice elevator, while the rest of us are taking the stairs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Shrugging off Sexism

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A day in the life of a woman is vastly different than a man. Social interactions can become offensive or dangerous in a matter of seconds, whereas a man might not face this problem on a day to day basis. Women have been subconsciously trained to shrug off everyday sexism, because having to confront it at every turn would be exhausting and risky. In the piece “The Thing All Women Do That You Don't Know About" by Gretchen Kelly, the realities of womanhood are brought to light. Not only for our male counterparts to better understand, but for some women to wake up to the fact they they might not even realize it themselves.

“We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.”
Women are so powerful, so much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for...than the world gives us credit for. But we have to dim this light and this power so often because there could be terrible consequences if we don’t. Countless instances have occurred, and only considering western society here, where a woman’s “no” has resulted in a violent retaliation from a man. So we go about it by “minimizing” and “de-escalating,” giving him a fake phone number, a fake smile, or scurrying away in fear with our pepper spray in hand. Majority of men are threatened by a powerful woman and their fragile egos can’t take “no” for an answer. This leads to violence, misogyny and the perpetuation of rape culture and sexism.
“It’s the reality of being a woman in our world. It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.”
It’s time to stop ignoring this. When we have a candidate running for president that regularly participates in sexism and misogyny, it’s time to wake up. When things like this leaked video of Trump talking about sexual assault and groping women is written off as “locker room talk” by himself and multiple political pundits it’s likely because men don’t understand a woman’s reality.
“...men can’t be expected to understand how pervasive everyday sexism is if we don’t start telling them and pointing to it when it happens.”
Donald Trump has had far too many chances to realize what sexism is and how to prevent it, yet he has failed time and again. But we still need to point out sexism and make it part of the conversation with other men in our lives. We are agents in articulating how we should be treated, so don’t shrug it off anymore.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Campus Epidemic


There are many assumptions about “the college experience,” some resulting in hard truths. For most students, college remains one of the most formative and fondest years of their lives. Moving away from home to discover one’s own identity, challenging studies, developing new ways of thinking, meeting life long friends, and ultimately coming out of it with a degree and a future full of opportunities. But a gruesome statistic reveals that this is not the case for everyone. 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault or gender based harm during their time in college. With all the ingredients, college campuses are an obvious hotbed for sexual assault. Raging hormones, far from parental authority, and lots and lots of alcohol. But let us not forget the most important ingredient: young men who think it’s okay to rape other people. And above all, the college bureaucracy that fail to protect its students. The majority of the universities in the United States have been failing to protect victims of campus sexual assault and this calls for a deep evaluation of these miscarriages of justice.
To cross examine the list of the top universities in the country with a list of the universities that have the most reported sexual assault yields astonishing similarities. One would hope that these top universities, some of which appear on both lists, would have the proper infrastructure to mitigate these all too often occurring incidences. But even with the abundance of funding from various sources to maintain such infrastructure, the problems lies with the administration. Quite possibly, the administration is suffering a lag in social culture. For most of the administrators serving on college campuses today are ranging in age of 40s to 60s, and university presidents averaging age 61. That means that when these people were in college years, it would have been as early as the 1970’s and into the early 90’s. Why is this important? Because the definition of rape back in those times was all over the board. In 2016, we expect informed, explicit consent (which will be explained later), but 25 or 35 years ago what is now considered rape might have been casually regarded as an “oops” or “drunken mistake.” And sexual assault on a college campus was almost unheard of, because surely rape only happened in dark alley ways, perpetrated by strangers and to girls who were not careful and “asking for it.” But now, university administrators are likely finding it these facts about their campuses hard to digest and this has them going lengths to protect the gleaming reputation of their institution...for obvious reasons. They need students to continue to want to attend and donors to want to keep giving. The age gap in the administrators to their students also provides a large social gap. It’s 2016, the drugs are stronger, the alcohol is more accessible, and the definition of rape is entirely different.
Consent is the buzzword when it comes to the ongoing discussion of sexual assault. Affirmative, explicit consent, as defined in the “Yes means Yes” consent bill in California is:
“an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is informed, freely given, and voluntary. It is the responsibility of the person initiating the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the consent of the other person to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”
This definition puts great stipulations on the act of sex and also might assume, in an underlying way, that “[l]egislators and activists just don't trust adults to navigate issues of consent without them (Young).” But it’s also clear that the likely 30 to 45 min sexual assault prevention sessions administered at freshman orientation don’t stick. In the heat of the moment, in a presumed consensual and mutual intimate situation, explicit consent is not always practiced. Because affirmative consent isn’t sexy or romantic. But rape isn’t either. So when colleges across the country are in a sexual assault epidemic, this not-so-sexy law is rightfully enacted. While in many cases it isn’t practiced, it does leave more room for victims to have a stronger case against their assailant. A hotly debated cousin of consent is the question of consent while incapacitated. If a person is incapacitated to a point where they cannot make a rational decision to consent, nor could they resist if they were to object to sexual advances, that would be considered sexual assault. Due to the varying opinions on what consent really is, California’s “Yes means Yes” bill attempted to clear things up. But the bill has been widely criticized as “excessive” and "feminist dogma", even going so far as to ignite the creation of men’s rights activist groups. As Tara Culp-Ressler writes for Think Progress:
The current societal script on sex assumes that passivity and silence — essentially, the “lack of a no” — means it’s okay to proceed. That’s on top of the fact that male sexuality has been socially defined as aggressive, something that can result in men feeling entitled to sex, while women have been taught that sex is something that simply happens to them rather than something they’re an active participant in. It’s not hard to imagine how couples end up in ambiguous situations where one partner is not exactly comfortable with going forward, but also not exactly comfortable saying no.”
Even though the bill carries some popular criticism, it does not discount the fact that it is important. Explicit consent is essentially good communication and communication likes, dislikes, wants, and boundaries is an important part of intimacy. Ultimately the main purpose of this bill is targeting situations when consent cannot be actively given. Creating these obvious and unambiguous standards makes it even more difficult for someone to get away with a non consensual situation.
There is a standard by which colleges and universities are to abide. Title IX is a federal civil right that was originally in place to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender in school programming and services, but it has taken on more responsibilities in the last few decades. Now, Title IX is required to be present on every campus and is the prosecuting body for concerns of sexual violence and gender based harm. Under Title IX, students are protected with various accommodations, like no contact orders, relocation assistance, and advocates. All this sounds great right? What stellar accommodations, universities seem to be making a valiant effort to protect its students. It looks good on paper but in practice, Title IX has failed students countless times. As comprehensive as these accommodations may be, it still must face the bureaucracy that is the college administration. Each university has handled Title IX settlements in their own way, and when the reputation of the campus, or the career of the star quarterback is at risk, Title IX can only do so much. Title IX programming is often times severely underfunded, meaning the resources for victims are scarce. Also, some universities don’t have any official Title IX advocates that specialize in sexual violence and gender based harm litigation, leaving victims with under qualified, unofficial university staff to assist them in investigative processes, which leaves room for biases and error. And because Title IX has no structured standard as to how cases are to be carried out, “the same universities that had been exposed for neglecting to seriously investigate claims of sexual violence were given massive leeway to decide how, going forward, they would investigate claims of sexual violence (Moskovitz).” This lack of standards allow universities to seek out every loophole in the process of an investigation, leaving victims out to dry and another botched case in the books.
  • University of Oregon: Three men, two being basketball players, had their discipline for the accused rape postponed because the university wanted them to play in the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • Baylor: An investigation by the university pursued no disciplinary action against a football player who was convicted of rape in court. The university was later exposed for having failed to investigate additional rape allegations of other athletes.
  • Florida State University: The university and local police worked viciously to cover up the rape allegations of star football player Jameis Winston, who later won the Heisman trophy. The university has since made a $950,000 settlement with the victim.
The sheer disconnect between what Title IX stands for and what the university will do to manipulate these situations is a huge problem. This not only makes the process that much more exhausting for the victim, but the universities usually never get away with the cover ups and end up in huge financial settlements and a PR nightmare. Moreover, the Dear Colleague Letter on sexual violence threatens universities with the fate of cutbacks on federal funding if they fail to investigate and prioritize sexual assault cases. But it’s been five years and some universities have yet to heed that warning. It would work so much better for all parties to have clear expectations for investigations and no sneaky loopholes to favor accused athletes. Title IX is a good starting point, but the accusers and the accused need the proper support of the university for justice to prevail.
While many victims must face the unreliable bureaucratic administration when pursuing an investigation, the worst part is the far too common backlash from the student body. College campuses are tight knit communities, everyone knows everyone and gossip spreads like wildfire. Not only does society in general have an aversion to believing victims of sexual assault, but when word gets out in the microcosm that is a university campus, it only magnifies the nastiness of victim blaming and rape culture. A university of Conneticuit woman reported a rape in 2010, but shortly after the investigation ended, her attacker was back on campus. Feeling extremely unsafe, she reported it to the campus police, who responded by saying, “women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter or rape is going to keep on happening ‘til the cows come home.” Another UConn student who protested the rape culture on campus and was a student activist in sexual assault prevention received threats and harassment for her actions. She receive rape and death threats like “I hope you get raped,” “bitch,” and other gruesome statements. Most notably, the controversial rape case of the accused FSU star quarterback (rapist) and victim Erica Kinsman, was a shameful display of how cruel humans can really be. When Kinsman pursued the charges she was warned by local police that “ [she] should think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.” And after Kinsman appeared publicly in the CNN film “The Hunting Ground” she has “received death threats, hate emails, and internet bullying” even having to travel with a bodyguard. In just naming a few, these instances of attacks and bullying against victims of sexual assault are huge deterrents as to why many victims don’t report. Having the only authority designated to protect students, minimizes and denies assaults, coupled with the likely bullying from students on campus, pursuing charges can be very scary. Society can call a woman a “hoe” all day with no evidence, but when she comes forward with evidence of being raped, then nobody believes her.
There are many obvious reasons why college campuses are the hub of sexual assault. Alcohol, partying, grossly gendered activities like greek life and sports. And of course, significantly less authority than back at home. These students may think they are invincible until they find themselves in the midst of a sexual assault investigation. In the case of cisgendered heteronormative sexual encounters, the concept of hyper masculinity should be address. College students need to find their niche, make friends, and make it a point for college to be the best years of their life. Many times, these students will join sports, greek life, or other specific social groups as a way to fit in.

Many fraternities, for example, promote rape culture by objectifying their sorority counterparts and by throwing parties with copious amounts of alcohol for a likely underlying purpose. All these ingredients lead to a terrifying statistic: “Members of frats are three times as likely to commit rape than other men on college campuses.” A house full of 120 dudes that play with wooden paddles and drink beer upside down is sure to be a place with sexual frustration and raging misogyny. But maybe that’s just too presumptuous? Let’s see:
“In October of last year, Texas Tech that hung a banner at a party that read “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal”—the same words that members of a Yale University frat chanted outside the campus women's center in 2008. During a “Take Back The Night” march in November 2014, members of a San Diego State frat harassed women by screaming obscenities, throwing eggs, and waving dildos at them. And back in October of 2013, the social chair of a fraternity at Georgia Tech sent members an email with the subject line “Luring Your Rapebait,” a brief document outlining how best to sexually assault women and get away with it (Theriults).”
So these are all perfect examples as to why the victim should never be blamed. There should be a greater focus on teaching young men not to rape as opposed to young women protecting themselves from it. A pamphlet and 20 minute video at orientation is not going to stick in the minds of hundreds of young men looking to dive into the world of sex and partying at college. Universities breed a party culture and rarely hold the most guilty of groups responsible, “colleges are hesitant to interfere with the rape culture that has infiltrated a small but destructive portion of the fraternity system because frat brothers are the college’s biggest source of giving (Torribio)”. And the overwhelming lack of accountability and disproportionate allocation of punishment is another overarching issue. When you can get expelled from school for copying someone else’s homework but not for raping another student… there is a big problem.
But we can’t always blame the universities for mishandling these issues, because some of them really do try to do the right thing. But the justice system fails the victim at the end of the day. In the spring of 2016, the case that flipped the status quo on it’s head was the Stanford rape case. Rapist (or as some media outlets will call him “all-star swimmer”) Brock Turner was convicted to only 6 months in jail, ultimately serving three. While the victim in the case has remained anonymous, her words were shared millions of times. The reasoning for Turner’s lenient sentence as described by the sentencing judge Aaron Persky was that “[jail] would have a severe impact on [his] life.” While this severely biased judge, who also played sports at an ivy league, failed the victim and all survivors who are still waiting for justice, Stanford University did the right thing. Turner was expelled from campus and banned from even entering the premises. After that, one would expect with the overwhelming amount of evidence against Turner - eye witnesses and a rape kit- , that the justice system would do the right thing. Sexual assault cases carry a stigma that makes it difficult to prosecute, especially when the defendant has “a lot to lose.” If it’s a criminal in a dark alley way that commits the assault, send him away, no questions asked. But if the accused has a championship football game coming up, the victim will likely be silenced, and drag out an investigation for much longer than necessary. So where can we find the appropriate justice? And how can we stop this epidemic?

It seems that no matter the case, the pursuit of justice for sexual assault survivors is a merciless one. Whether it be the campus they reside in, the police department and administrators on the case, or even the judge you’d hope would protect you, the victims of sexual assault just can't catch a break. What’s worse is that in a place where young people should thrive, learn, and grow, they are stunted by the harsh reality that is campus sexual assault and the incompetent bureaucracy that follows. The solution is multilateral and complex. As discussed, many factors are to blame on this crisis, and they should all be addressed. Title XI needs to have stringent and comprehensive standards for investigations, funding for this program should be abundant, and resources for victims readily available. As for stopping rape culture and the festering of it on campuses across the nation, that’s a bigger problem. But at the end of the day, we need to teach men not to rape. All students deserve the unobstructed education that they so rightfully earned and colleges need to protect that right by all means possible.

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