Letter: Many shortfalls in the University’s response to sexual assault

by Letter to the Editor

This is written in response to the Minnesota Daily article “Founder of #MeToo movement comes to UMN campus.”

This article covered the event where #MeToo founder Tarana Burke was guest speaker, and I am specifically responding to how the University of Minnesota has handled recent high-profile cases of sexual assault. Burke said that University administration’s response was “ahead of the curve” in comparison to other schools, and I believe that her input should have been elaborated on more in this article.

I find it hard to believe that Burke glossed over these recent cases. However, if she had, I think that our community’s response indicated that we are concerned with the environment we live in, and the author could have elaborated on this.

Our University should not have been congratulated for “managing” sexual assault cases, especially since two of the most prominent and recent ones have involved student-athletes at the University. Student-athletes should be held to a higher standard of behavior, and the University should take a key point in ensuring this.

If the University is prioritizing “safety for the student body” and then appearing to do little to prevent these sexual assaults, I would question why Burke seems to be congratulating the administration’s response in this article.

This letter has been lightly edited for clarity and style.

Erika Guenther is a student at the University of Minnesota.