Saturday, October 9, 2010

CWU Blames Date Rape Victims

This is an absolutely disgusting response from the school administration. CNN reports that persons unknown seem to have attempted to incapacitate female students by adding a depressant drug to alcohol. Twelve people who attended the party in Roslyn, WA were hospitalized though they reported ingesting only one or two drinks. Police found the party after they discovered a female victim who had escaped the party passed out in a vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. Her friends were able to point the police to the party where someone had drugged a bottle of vodka.

All attendees at the party were students at CWU, and the school adminsitration released this statement to CNN:
"CWU strictly enforces state law and university policy on underage drinking and illegal drug use," it said, adding that freshmen are educated on drug and alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

"Despite our best efforts, however, students sometimes make bad choices," the university said.
Guess what, CWU administration? Having one or two drinks at a party is not behaving recklessly. Even though some of these students were under 21, it does not excuse the callous disregard for their safety and the easy condemnation of them which is emanating from the school's statement. The school will that all students whom they identify as being "involved with the party" will go through a "conduct hearing." It seems unlikely from the tone they are taking that there will be any action taken against the people who intentionally drugged the women in an attempt to rape them.


The students of CWU deserve better than this. They deserve an alcohol policy that distinguishes between people who drink responsibly and those who attempt to take advantage of others. They deserve an administration which pursues justice and does not blame the victim. The upcoming 'conduct hearing' will tell us whether the Administration lives up to this very low bar.


It should be noted that the police seem to be taking this crime very seriously. Their arrival at the scene likely prevented sexual assaults, and they acted quickly, effectively, and professionally in defense of its citizens. I just wish the same could be said of the University.


Huffington Post confirms that the college's response will focus on "underage drinking" law violations and will likely result in sanctions. The university could be using this energy to investigate the poisoning and attempted rape of its students, but who's interested in that?
Officials said they would review the conduct of individual students, and those in violation of conduct code may face sanctions, ranging from mandated intensive drug and alcohol education course to suspension or expulsion in the most serious cases.
This is appalling behavior. Not from the students, but from the university. They are punishing the people who had a nightmarish time. I doubt that there is anything a drug education class will be able provide for these victims. On a side note, the police might have wondered why nobody called 911 after people started to vomit and pass out. It probably had something to do with the expectations of the police force that when they arrived at the house that drunk people would flee it like a sinking ship. The expectations of the police evince knowledge that the way that we deal with underage drinking as a society is counterproductive, but there is no awareness of this reflected in their policy or response. At the same time, they're doing a lot better right now than the school is--at least they're not trying to send these victims to court.

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