Today: Jun 24, 2024

International Socialist Organization creates rape awareness

Amanda Brail – News Reporter

In the shadow of the Steubenville rape case, the International Socialist Organization will hold a panel discussion about rape and rape culture at SCSU.

On Tuesday, Apr. 16, the ISO wants students to share their ideas about what rape culture is and how is it can be stopped, according to Eric Maroney.

Maroney, branch coordinator of New Haven’s ISO, said why it is crucial that they, along with Women’s Studies Honors Society Iota Iota Iota, bring the “A World Without Rape” panel discussion to SCSU.

Photo Courtesy |
Photo Courtesy |

“As an activist I think it’s necessary to take up this topic right now,” he said. “We’ve seen so many flashes of rape and rape culture in the mass media lately.”

Maroney explained that coverage of sexual assault cases such as those at Steubenville, Notre Dame, and Torrington have shown us that oppression, particularly women’s oppression, still exists in today’s society.

“Sexual assault and sexism do not exist just because men have bad ideas, but because we live in a society that fosters reinforcement for those ideas,” he said about the media’s sympathy towards the two Steubenville high school football players that were convicted of rape.

“Recent cases, such as Steubenville and Torrington, show that we don’t support survivors of rape,” said Madison Bruer a women’s studies minor at Southern who will be on the panel Apr. 16. “We say that rape is bad and we say not to rape, but we send a conflicting message when we pity the rapist.”

Bruer said that rape does not exist unless “there is a society that encourages rape, apologizes for it, allows it to happen, does not take action against it, and forgives the perpetrator.”

She also said that she hopes the panel exposes students to the “sketchy” behaviors of universities across the nation when it comes to dealing with rape.

“Universities are not protecting their survivors and they are jumping to the side of the perpetrator more often than not,” she said.

Photo Courtesy |
Two high school students, Trent Mays and Ma’Lick Richmond, were found guilty of
raping another student and were sentenced to time in prison.

Bruer specifically said how Southern is lacking in their policies regarding sexual assault on campus by pointing out that in her two years attending the school, she has only been notified of one instance of sexual assault or harassment. According to the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services website, students attending SCSU are supposed to be notified of every case of sexual harassment or violence on campus. She also said she was outraged that David Chevan, a music professor at SCSU involved in a federal sexual harassment case, was not fired immediately after being accused of sexual harassment by a Southern student.

“I want them to be more transparent,” said Bruer about what she believes are Southern’s lacking policies. “I want them to make students more aware of how to report sexual violence–what their resources are, what their protections are –and I want them to follow through with actions because right now that’s just not happening.”

Both Bruer and Maroney said they hope to get rid of the rape culture that exists not only at universities, but on a national level, as well. Maroney said that he hopes students can learn how to fight women’s oppression not only from recent cases, but through understanding historical struggles as well.

Bruer said what she thinks it will take to make progress:

“We need a community that supports survivors,” she said, “and a community that encourages people getting justice if they’ve experienced any kind of sexual violence.”

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