On Feb. 27, the Daily published a story about a University student that experienced a considerable amount of sexual harassment when she was studying abroad in Tanzania.
About a week later, the Star Tribune ran a similar story about the student’s experience, and the story was picked up by the Associated Press and published in newspapers across the United States.
When the student was in Tanzania, she experienced multiple forms of harassment from different types of people, even professors and security guards at her school.
Because of this harassment, the student returned to the United States earlier than expected and almost risked her scholarship money and the chance to graduate.
Luckily for the student, University officials announced that she will be able to graduate and will not have to pay back her scholarship.
But there is hardly anything lucky about her situation.
We believe it is essential for the University to warn students about the perils they might face in other countries. Whether that is through meetings, student testimonials or possibly pairing prospective students with students that have studied in those places before, students need to know what to expect and how to prepare.
The student undoubtedly appreciates that the University was eventually understanding about her situation, but it seems as if some of the problems could have been solved had she been better prepared for the circumstances and how to deal with them.
In addition, we feel it would be a good idea for the University to find a way to increase communication between
students and the Learning Abroad Center while students
are abroad. One way to do this would be to assign each student to a study abroad counselor that possibly has an expertise in that country. That way, if students are dealing with a perilous or complicated situation, they know exactly who to turn to.