Huffpost College
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Elaine Williams Headshot

Hey Yale, Can You Tell Me What's Going On?

Posted: Updated:

I don't get what's going on with YALE and other colleges....

I just read another article about the political discussions about what to do with colleges that have failed to discipline and take action after RAPES have occurred on their campuses. I don't get it. I don't know why we are still talking instead of doing.

And of course, there is a special term I've never heard before: Nuclear. Which refers to if a college actually, really loses it's federal funding and then it's students won't be able to get any financial aid or pell grants either. Nuclear.

Really?

I have some other words that come to mind. Words like: Disgusting. Years of therapy. Addiction. Nightmares. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Pain. Blood. Seamen. Evidence. Rape Kit. Shame. Stigma. I could go on, but I won't.

Here's a phrase that I have not seen yet, but it keeps screaming through my brain:

The rules don't apply to us.

That is the message that the colleges are sending out to the world.

The rules are for everyone else, but not us.

I am referring to the colleges that are being investigated and who have not followed the rules.

Why are we allowing this to happen? I do not understand this "dragging of the feet." Crimes are being committed on campuses. They have been for some time and they are continuing, unfortunately.

I have a simple solution. Moving forward, when a sexual assault is reported on a college campus, it is investigated thoroughly and quickly, with an outside party overseeing the procedure. The outside party could be local law enforcement or a federal agency.

The minute that the college does not take action in any way, or makes a mistake, or does not protect the victim, the outside authority takes over the case. And then the case, and it's proceedings are made public, minus the names of the students involved.

This would eliminate the middle man/legislation/bureaucracy/BS. The colleges would not have to worry about losing their federal funding or who would decide whatever. Because the consumer: the prospective parents and their children could vote with their dollars about where they want to enroll.

The consumers could pick their colleges based upon who takes sexual assault prevention and response seriously, and who doesn't think the rules apply to them. I would like to go even farther and request that the colleges are Required to list their sexual assault statistics.

The statistics could include how many are reported, the procedure and policies that are done, with a public record to see the actual investigations.(while still protecting the students involved) I know that I am sick and tired of wondering why it's taking so long to wake people up about this.

I am sure I am not aware of all of the issues here. I am sure there are careers and money and politics and history involved. I just don't care anymore. If I have to hear one more victim tell me how they were laughed at, or dismissed, or someone told them they were over-reacting...

Every single time I talk about this, I have men and women approach me afterwards, saying: I just realized, or I only recently realized that I was assaulted.

I am a passionate person, but I am not trying to be dramatic here. My grandmother used to say:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

And I completely agree. We have to start holding everyone involved accountable.

There are sexual predators all around us. I am not condoning them or their behavior, but they are more common than we realize. And they don't walk around with big P's on their chests.

Most adults do not put themselves in harms way. Most adults at least try to protect the children they are raising and caring for. But young college students are often in between the stages of teen and adult. I know that when I was 18, I was terrified when I first went off to UT in Austin. I was desperate to fit in and be "cool"; and not flunk out. I drank to fit in and because I was socially awkward.

With the explosion of social media, and digital everything, there is added pressure to be cool, and party, and look like your life is fun, fun, fun at all times. Young students are easily impressionable, and many have never been away from home for more than a few days. Many of them have not had a lot of experience with alcohol before coming to college.
This environment can create easy, accessible "Prey" for predators who also happen to be students.

Stay tuned for more Solutions. Coming soon.

And please forgive if I sound preachy.

My wish is that we all learn from my mistakes. I shudder when I think of the time, money, and emotions that I spent on recovering from my assaults and addictions.

My hope is that even if one person can avoid this experience, than my life has been for good.
I'd much rather students get to focus on pursuing their passions, saving the world, inventing new, cool things, than on having to recover or even worse, not being able to recover.