Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, November 17, 2005
In response to Tuesday’s article, “Group voices concern over e-mail warning [Saint Mary’s Board of Governance coverage, Nov. 15],” it seems that women’s issues commissioner Katie Kelly is implying that campus security shouldn’t send advice to the public about such things as “be careful what you drink and how you act at a party,” and “never leave your drink unattended.” She is apparently against these safety warnings because they could possibly imply that rape is partly the victim’s fault. If her view was correct, then perhaps security shouldn’t send out e-mails about how to prevent burglaries because they might imply it is the residents’ fault, or pools shouldn’t post warnings such as “swim with a buddy” because it might offend those who drown.
Further, Kelly says that the e-mails should only have information about where rape victims should go, i.e. the Women’s Center. Kelly seems to be implying that no one can prevent rape, so security should just be there to tell you where to go when it does happen. Maybe she is even against having Emergency Call Boxes on campus?
I would think that safety is more important than political correctness, and knowledge is more important than ignorance. There are some girls out there who haven’t been to a college party before, and they may not know what is dangerous, such as accepting drinks from strangers. Advice like “be aware of how much you’ve had to drink” should be made available to everyone. These e-mails should be thought of as a tool for fighting rapists rather than a slander on the victims. There are rapists in the community, but rape can be stopped, and community knowledge can help. If just one girl can be helped by sound, safe advice, shouldn’t these e-mails go out?
It seems that Kelly and some others of the Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s community are more worried about the appearance of things than the reality of security’s mission – to keep us all safe.
Sean Hobangraduate studentNov. 15