I just brought my daughter home from CofC this past Wednesday morning. We had a wonderful six hour drive together and the rest of the family is over the moon to have her home for the first time since she began her Freshman Year back in August.
Her time at CofC has been everything she, her Mom, and I could have hoped for. School, Friends, independence, all en point … just a wonderful experience.
During our trip we talked about all matter of things, serious and not. The only gloom during the drive came when she told me that she had seen a girl being picked up by her family — [her] Mom crying. The young lady was identified to her as someone who had been raped at a Frat House (along with other sordid details). My daughter held the understanding that nothing had been done, no action taken, and that it was quite possible that she could be in class with the accused and have no idea. This upset her, but I think it upset me more. I am not blind to the crazy high risk of danger young women are put in at college (OSHA would surely shut down a worksite with similar numbers). It appears a situation where we can only hope to mitigate the risks with strong “talking to’s” with our children. At the current time, higher education administrators are unable to keep our daughters safe from sexual predators on and about campus. What’s worse is that there are strong incentives that prevent many from taking even the smallest of steps to move us into a safer, more enlightened time. In particular, there is a hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil mentality that causes a massive lack of reporting, investigating and, if indicated, prosecuting. As with everything in human social evolution, we cannot begin to remedy a problem and make a better community if we refuse to discuss it openly.
That evening, when we got home from our drive, I googled “CofC frat rape” and the top search item was an article from “Live 5 News.” I gleaned from this article (and some others) that: 1) There was an accusation of a frat related rape in August; 2) Two suspects have been arrested; 3) At least one of these suspects has been barred from the school (temporarily?); and 4) President Glenn McConnell has taken some action to protect the student body. The fifth item I know is that one wonderful young lady is going through a horrible time and will need unfathomable support from her family and a deep strength to understand that she is not the one who did wrong here.
As you can see, I am minimally informed, and my understanding may very well be wrong in some critical areas. This letter is not to shed any light to this act, nor the rape culture in general, but solely to thank President McConnell. He is at the very least (and he may be a great deal more) above average in handling this act with some sort of transparency and actually having taken some action — although imperfect, I am sure. I do not mean to be facetious here, but President McConnell may be a man of exceptional character who is leading the way to a better world or he may be a bungling fool [whose] only skill set is not to be able to quiet this as well as his colleagues at other schools.
Regardless, I want to pass on in all sincerity:
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