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Are we really safe?

For most college students, the campus they choose is their new home for the next four years, possibly even longer.

Is it really “home” though?

When you say the word “home” a sense of security and safety, hopefully, comes to mind. With FGCU being ranked the “second safest in the nation” by University Prime Time, you would think students do have that sense of security and safety.

When interviewed, most girls responded saying that they still don’t feel safe on campus at night.

If FGCU has a relatively low reported sexual assault and crime rate on campus, why do they still not feel safe? Is it because the word “reported” is key, or it just because almost any campus is scary when walking alone late at night?

Maybe we get a little too carried away with scary movies that when we are alone at night we are constantly haunted by the image of a scary, pale little girl with dark hair covering her demonic face.

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” did a clip called “The Fault in our Schools” when an incident occurred at James Madison University. Three fraternity brothers pulled off a female’s bathing suit top during spring break, recorded it and passed it around to multiple students on campus.

In this clip, Stewart mocks the situation and the consequences the fraternity boys suffered, which was the fraternity boys being expelled upon graduation.

In what way is this punishment? In what way does it make the statement that sexual harassment or assault is not a joke or something to be taken lightly? In fact, it does just the opposite.

You might as well just say “Boys, go ahead and cross the line, just don’t come back to campus… after your graduate.”

Whether it is something as harmless as guys joking around on x-box using comments like “oh, I just raped you!” or something as serious as an individual legitimately getting sexually abused, this subject should not be taken lightly and a slap on the hand just isn’t enough to set an example.

Yet more and more often, you see jokes about rape whether it is from comedians, sitcoms or people in your everyday lives.

Just recently Daniel Tosh made a “joke” about his sister being raped.

“I got her so good the other day,” Tosh said on his Comedy Central televisions show, “I replaced her pepper spray with silly string. Anyway, that night she got raped.”

If the joke itself wasn’t bad enough, what is really repulsive are the laughs that echoed the “joke”. People actually thought that was funny.

If you ask me, making a joke out of this matter is one of the worst possible things you can do in a situation like this, even if the incident was considered a “joke” or something minor.

Assault is assault. Making a joke out of things such as this not only encourages guys to act out in this manner, but it also makes women feel belittled for speaking up against harassment, no matter how big or small the incident may be.

In fact, maybe this is why women do not feel safe on campus, even if FGCU is ranked the second safest in the nation. If it is already known that often victims do not feel comfortable coming forward, making sarcastic remarks such as this makes no sense.

The fraternity brothers were expelled upon graduation. If we want women to feel safe on campus, maybe there should be higher risks and consequences when something like this does occur, instead of the boys simply not being able to return to campus after they graduate.

As I said earlier, maybe the word “reported” is key. Maybe women do not feel comfortable speaking up about assault or harassment because at the end of the day, they know little to nothing will change or they will just be mocked and made out to feel senseless if they do, because after all “boys will be boys.”

Being a student here at FGCU, I understand why this beautiful campus would be rated second best in the nation… or maybe I am just too afraid to speak up for myself because I fear I will be ridiculed and made fun of if I do.

You decide.

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