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viewpoint

Typical monday morning story

| Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why am I not surprised to read the headline “Two Sexual Crimes Reported on Campus” in today’s Observer newspaper? Every Friday and Saturday night, the students are up and about way beyond midnight because they know that they can spend Saturday and Sunday sleeping through the day. I know this because every Friday and Saturday night from my residence at Our Lady of Fatima House, I am woken up by students walking around the lake talking at the top of their voices, most often after 2:30 am. This raises a couple of questions: Why would anyone, young or old, freshman or senior, be outside at 2:30 am on any day of the week? And secondly, where are the Notre Dame Security Police officers? Shouldn’t they, knowing the proclivity for students to be out and about on Friday and Saturday nights, be out trying to help keep people where they are supposed to be?

A couple of possible suggestions. Although the police cannot go into the dorms, they should be able to make sure that those who are outside at all hours of the night are escorted to their respective dorms safely, reported to the rector and made sure they remain in the dorm all weekend.

Secondly, because most of these assaults take place in the men’s dorms, is it possible for the rectors and RAs of all men’s dorms to be more proactive on the weekends and make sure all their residents are in their rooms with no visitors? Where is the accountability of those who are tasked with ensuring rules are followed? Where also is the accountability of students to themselves and one another?

Thirdly, If the “boys” cannot police themselves because of alcohol, maybe the women should make greater effort in knowing the whereabouts of their roommates, hall-mates and dorm-mates are on Friday and Saturday nights. Ask your roommates, friends where they are going if you are not with them on a Friday or Saturday night. Ask them what time they will be back. If they do not return by parietals, inform your RA and make sure she is around until whoever is not present is accounted for. Call your friends on their cell phones if they are not in by parietals and tell them you are coming to get them.

As a Notre Dame family we are failing these students when we let them go out each weekend vulnerable to being assaulted. It is time to move beyond prayer after the fact, to greater prevention, and put an end to the what is becoming predictable Monday morning stories of reported sexual assaults.

 

Fr. David Kashangaki
Parochial Vicar
St. Patrick’s Parish, South Bend
Aug. 31

 

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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