Rape during Spring Jam

An alleged rape during Spring Jam serves as a reminder of a wider problem.

 

Over Spring Jam weekend a woman reported being raped at a campus fraternity. Though it has not been confirmed, the situation is problematic for a university with a troubled past with sexual assaults.

Spring Jam weekend presents a unique level of stress for security in the University community. Ideally, campus organizations, like fraternities and sororities, should consider additional security precautions, just as the Dinkytown Business Association has done with extra law enforcement, with programs like Arkeo — which was created in the wake of three sexual assaults — that can help ensure a safer campus.

At the University of Minnesota, 61 forcible sexual offenses were reported between 2008 and 2010. The Aurora Center served 146 clients in 2011 who had concerns or experiences of sexual assault.

The Statesman, the Duluth campus newspaper, reported that every year 2.8 to 5.6 percent — as many as 300 — of its female students say they have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault, according to University surveys. The University of Minnesota-Duluth, however, reported only three sexual assaults to the federal government between 2008-10. Though we may hear about a handful of sexual assaults that happen on campus, that number is likely a small fraction of what is actually happening in the community.

With one of the first big recreational weekends on the University campus coming with news of an alleged rape, this situation should come as a reminder — one that we should not need — that sexual assault is a problem that will not simply go away. It requires action from groups like the Interfraternity Council, law enforcement and the University student body to take this problem seriously. Simply put, it is the University student body’s responsibility not to rape, and with a sensitive crime as this, survivors should feel comfortable seeking justice.