The Thicket of Responding to College Sexual Assault


I’ve been absorbing myself in the sexual assault issue on college campuses for a while now and particularly in the last few days, I’ve been going through not only the specific layout on Miami’s website, but then the federal government’s website ( and let me tell you something…

This is an enormous thicket of, “Holy shit.” From a college response context, if I was sexually assaulted, I would have absolutely no idea where to start. There are so many different programs, policies, directors, individuals and so on and so forth, complying with this, trying to maintain standards there; it’s a mess, man.

On one hand, I think there is a real problem with colleges sweeping rape under the rug in the name of image and other reasons, but on the other hand, they are in the unenviable position of trying to comply with this thicket of policies and standards that are all over the place.

So what you get, then, is endless college task forces and awareness events and orientation education and then new policies and programs and websites and campaigns from the government, all then congealing into a an opaque mess nobody, especially a survivor of a sexual assault, can be expected to traverse.

This whole thing sucks. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to FIX THIS thing, but the only one I have is that it would be nice if the government took a step back. In my view, they’re compounding the complexity.

Related to this issue, I’d like to share my Storify Tweet barrage on this whole issue related to my column and some other pieces featured in my newspaper, The Miami Student at Miami University Ohio. Here, “Responding to My Critics about Rape on Campus.”

Then someone that’s associated with the research on this issue posted to The Miami Student’s Facebook page and I clicked on her name and saw this photo:


This is what I’m talking about. They — mainstream feminists — are going too far with this. 1.) All sex and therefore all consent, does not have to happen when both parties are 100% sober. Drunk sex is a thing and that’s okay. Drunk sex does not necessarily entail a rape. Regretting a hookup does not entail a rape. 2.) Ongoing “Yes!” is troubling. What does ongoing look like in practice? What does the feminist mean by this? If we go with ongoing, enthusiastic consent as a standard for consensual sex, then a whole lot of people have committed their definition of rape.

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