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How misinformation/ disinformation on social media is destroying our democracy 

Social media has given a platform for individuals to share their voices faster and to a broader audience than ever before. At our nation’s founding, it would have been unimaginable to predict that anyone would be able to speak at any time from anywhere. This phenomenon has lent itself to the creation of a new type of speaker, a bolder ego unafraid of sharing what is on their mind. In reaction, our government is stuck with a thought-provoking dilemma of what “free speech” truly entails in this day and age. The oratory vehicle that social media has become provides several cultural stresses on the democratic structure, such as an overload of information, the creation of a hive mind and radicalization. Perhaps the greatest threat to democracy, which works in tandem with the aforementioned, is the growing misinformation and disinformation online.

Anyone can fall into the snares of believing and spreading false information. This was evidenced by a study done by researchers at MIT which found that “false news stories are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories are.” That study becomes even more potent when looking at a mass of individuals, where it was mentioned that “it takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it does for false stories to reach the same number of people.” Another study that exemplifies the true might of this swelling issue is done by PEW Research Center which found that “62% of Americans get their news from social media” and “two-in-three U.S. adults (64%) say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events.” These numbers become even more alarming when noticing that this study was conducted in 2016, and one can assume that with social media gaining more influence almost daily, the percentages of adults that receive their news from social media has increased since then. In addition to this, recent controversies such as the 2016 and 2020 elections, the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have further contributed to the public’s perception of inaccurate information in their daily news consumption. 

If speech has lost its value in society and is no longer desired to be truthful, then what exactly drives speech to be productive? The founding fathers, with Madison serving as a preeminent example, believed that speech would be a tool to uphold the democratic structure by allowing people to put forth their best argument and allow society to choose the superior. However, platforms, in the form of social media, have sanctioned speech that is innately worthless with the intent to troll and solicit a reaction. The more salacious a headline, the more engagement it is bound to receive. Not only does this cultivate fake news, but it also changes insights of the general public. Fake rhetoric allows for radicalization and a strengthening of ideals through an echo-chamber. It also may allow for individuals to feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information available and discourage them from participating in the wider political sphere. This problem then breeds bigger issues such as the political polarization that seemingly widens each day. Thus, our democracy is on its way to facing a grave peril.

The question now beckons — which approach should the government enforce to tackle this menacing predicament? To start, it should be noted that the government would be greatly overstepping its power to combat this problem, because it has no jurisdiction over these social media platforms as they are private entities. One should ask themselves if they believe that social media should be held accountable by the government for allowing false information to be spread. Is the problem so dire that it would require the government to encroach in the private sector? 

To answer this, there are two salient schools of thought that are worth mentioning. The first of which is libertarianism, which essentially believes the marketplace of ideas should be allowed to occur naturally and be shown deference from the government. Justice Kennedy, who prescribes to this ideology (Fish, Stanley Eugene, “What Is the First Amendment For?), has shown his wariness to the government’s “chilling” speech. On the other side lies consequentialism, which argues that speech should be regulated by the government if the harms outweigh the benefits of the speech. A growing outcry in favor of consequentialism has emerged with false information being spewed across a myriad of social media channels. Consequentialists would most likely believe that the threat posed by misinformation is too hazardous and thus should be controlled by the government. 

Personally, I identify more in the libertarian camp. I struggle with allowing a government to have control over censoring voices, as this could eventually lead to the silencing of opposing voices. However, I do think that social media has transformed speech as we understand it and that the government must adjust to our new reality. The government should not have the power to dictate what constitutes “false” information, but perhaps it should put pressure on social media misinformation warning, and I think we should ensure that apps begin to make this the norm in order to address this problem. Regardless if this is the answer or not, something must be done to stop the spread of misinformation. Maybe then people will be able to have more productive conversations about politics and can come to understand their own beliefs on a deeper and more truthful level.

Kelly Harris is a senior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in political science and minoring in digital marketing, musical theatre and Glynn Honors. She is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and resided in Pangborn and Johnson Family Halls. If you wish to reach Kelly with any questions or concerns feel free to email kharri22@nd.edu.

BridgeND is a multi-partisan political club committed to bridging the partisan divide through respectful and productive discourse. It meets on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in Duncan Student Center W246 to learn about and discuss current political issues, and can be reached at bridgend@nd.edu or on Twitter @bridge_ND.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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Viewpoint

Political polarization, identity politics and social media

In modern-day politics, political parties are more polarized than ever. This division between Democrats and Republicans has prevented bipartisan legislation from being implemented to address critical issues in the United States. However, American politics were not always so divided. This begs the question, what caused political polarization in our democracy? The answer is simple: identity politics and social media. 

For historical context, in a 20221 article Elizabeth Kolbert claims that the Democratic and Republican parties were similar around the time of the 1950s. In fact, the “American Political Science Association issued a plea that Democrats and Republicans make more of an effort to distinguish themselves.” Eventually, political scientist Lilliana Mason describes “the great sorting” that took place at the start of the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, and Roe v. Wade. These landmark movements instigated a social sorting that eventually led to the ideological division between Democrats and Republicans. 

When thinking about the beginning of political polarization, it is essential to look at the topics of the movements that dramatically shifted American politics. Issues of racial and gender inequality, reproductive rights and political exploitation formed two distinct sides around identity politics. According to the Oxford Dictionary, odentity politics involve the “tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc. to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.” As explained in this article about the ongoing debate over identity politics, those in favor of identity politics argue that America needs to continue discussing and fighting on issues such as gender equality, racial justice and LGBTQIA+ rights. On the contrary, those opposed argue that identity politics “serve as a distraction from issues they view as more important and politically palatable,” such as the economy. Essentially, this is a debate between preserving a status quo that has historically protected white, cisgender, straight men and creating space for minority groups to be included in mainstream America. While economic issues are extremely important and need to be addressed on a legislative level, there needs to be equal attention to the oppression and marginalization that American citizens belonging to minority groups are facing by upholding this harmful status quo. Additionally, this ultimatum between economic and identity issues suggests that this is an “either-or” scenario when, in fact, both of these issues can be addressed at the same time. However, political party polarization between Republicans and Democrats places limitations on making progress on both due to the increasing divide between political ideals. 

A study by the Pew Research Center shows that half of Democrats and half of Republicans believe their political opponent is immoral. Another to Kolbert’s article, a study by YouGov found that 60% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans believe their opposing party is a “serious threat to the United States.” Both of these studies show the current and dramatic political polarization in America. In fact, the U.S. is so politically polarized that the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance added the U.S. to its list of “backsliding democracies” (Kolbert). Currently, there are two issues that are limiting the potential for extreme political polarization to come to an end, both of which stem from the same source: social media. 

Not only has social media enhanced political polarization, but it has become a breeding ground for misinformation and extremism. Because moderates in the Republican and Democratic parties are not as active in participating in online political discussions, extremists serve as the dominant voice and representation for their respective political parties. Chris Bail, the director of Duke’s Polarization Lab, describes this as false polarization: individuals believe people in the opposing political party are more extreme than they actually are. This brings up the first issue in combating political polarization: those who have done the most to polarize America seem the least inclined to recognize their own “impairments.” In terms of social media, extremists on both sides have exacerbated polarization and spread misinformation, creating a false perception of the political ideologies of each party. The second issue is that while each party regards the other as a “serious threat,” this does not mean they are equally threatening. Events that occurred under Trump’s presidency and peak influence, such as the Jan. 6 insurrection over his questioning of the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, undermined fundamental trust in the democratic electoral process. This event dramatically shifted American politics and enhanced polarization among the political parties even further. While there is not an obvious solution to close the widening gap between political parties’ ideologies, recognizing the false narratives portrayed by the media is one way to limit harmful stereotypes that only advance political polarization.

Grace Sullivan is a first-year at Notre Dame studying global affairs with a minor in gender studies. In her column I.M.P.A.C.T. (Intersectionality Makes Political Activist Change Transpire), she is passionate about looking at global social justice issues through an intersectional feminist lens. Outside of The Observer, she enjoys hiking, painting and being a plant mom. She can be reached at gsulli22@nd.edu.

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Viewpoint

The flip phone experiment 

I came to Notre Dame wanting it all. I wanted incredible memories. I wanted success. I wanted to get holy, get fit and get involved. I wanted to waste no time. I knew that this experience, like high school, would fly by at an incredible pace. Like a fleeting shadow. A blink of an eye, a New York minute. Here, then gone. 

However, semester after semester, I found myself throwing those precious minutes down the drain. The time sucker? A cracked iPhone 8 in a dilapidated red phone wallet. Time and time again, I’d find that screen time app reminding me of the many hours I lost each week. 

I tried to get that number down. I really did. I set screen time restrictions, I ditched social media and I even put my phone in black and white to make it less desirable. But no matter how hard I tried, the phone would win. Even if I had a good week with phone use, a bad week would come, and I would find myself robbed of that coveted time. 

As a second semester sophomore, with everyone talking about jobs and plans and future, I heard my Notre Dame timer clicking louder than ever before. And at the dawn of 2022, I found myself having an intrusive, insane thought: What if I could eliminate the temptation altogether? What if I could simply guarantee hundreds of hours of more fun at the best place in the world? 

What if. I hate what-ifs. So I drove to Target, and I bought a flip phone. 

I originally told myself that I would try it for one month. One month, and then if I decide that I hate it, I can switch back. This was not a long term project. It was an experiment. 

Despite my doubts, here I am, nine months later, and you couldn’t force me to switch back. I love my flip phone. It’s brought me the results that I’ve always craved. My fears about the switch were illegitimate, and all of my hopes came true. 

The first immediate thing that I noticed was that I was swimming in free time. At first it was weird. I would get back to my dorm, sit on my futon, realize I had nothing to do on my phone, and then … Keep sitting on my futon. I would sit there as the minutes passed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for something to entertain me. 

Nothing ever did, so I got busy. 

I learned a few songs on the guitar. I read 14 non-school books. I spent more time laughing with my dorm friends. I studied more, I prayed more. I ate longer meals with my friends. I started walking the dorm dog, Rocco. I picked up poetry. I called my family more, I hit the gym more and I slept more. I had the time to write this essay.

I quickly found that my focus was improved without my phone’s constant interruptions. I was completely, entirely in the moment. I would find myself locking in for entire lectures. I worked faster than ever, and I was more able to attentively listen to my friends. 

I did everything that I love more and better. The flip phone increased both the quality and quantity of my favorite things about life. And throughout it all, there was not a battle that needed to take place. There was no tempting smartphone left to fight. 

The best thing about my flip phone is that it is not enjoyable to use. It’s complicated, it’s slow, it’s gross-looking. But that’s exactly why I love it. It’s there if I need it, but when I don’t, I’m as far away from that thing as humanly possible. My flip phone united my long and short term desires — I’m not constantly denying myself anymore. 

But the most groundbreaking realization did not hit me when I was happy. It hit me on a day when I was feeling particularly sad and anxious. 

I walked out of North Dining Hall on that miserable day with my head down. Normally I would have turned left, dragged myself to my room in Dillon and dove headfirst into the bottomless pit that was my smartphone. But I knew in this moment that the only thing waiting for me in that room was silence. 

Instead, I turned right. 

I headed to Stanford Hall, where some of my friends were hanging out. I walked through those doors reluctantly, but I walked through them nonetheless. I needed to cope somehow, and without my smartphone, I was left only with healthy options. I told them what was going on and they lifted me up. 

I was forced to lean on people rather than a screen. And now more than ever, I think that this vulnerability is beyond important for relationships. It has turned my friends into brothers. Rather than the emptiness I would feel after a couple hours on Instagram, I left that conversation feeling loved. I was left with the deeper desire of my heart satisfied. 

All in all, that’s what I’ve found to be the greatest superpower of the flip phone: It offers me no artificial solutions. It forces me to take the next step needed to satisfy my longings. 

When I am feeling social, I don’t send funny stuff in the group chat anymore. I set a time up to hang out and laugh with my friends. When I like a girl, I don’t text her about my bad country playlists. I set up a lunch to get to know her. When I’m tired, I don’t scroll mindlessly. I take a nap. When I long to connect with friends or family, I don’t like their Instagram post. I call them and ask them how they’re doing.

My iPhone was my Tylenol. It would numb the pain, but it would never remove it. It was like trying to pull weeds by cutting them at the tips. It made me feel like I was making progress, but it never solved the issue. My flip phone removes that artificial option, and it truly has changed my life. I’ve been forced to look my issues in the eye and find genuine solutions. 

One of the hardest things about making the switch was saying no to a good thing. My iPhone was great: It was convenient, it was entertaining and it was capable of many things. But this experiment has again taught me the importance of tradeoffs in life. 

Life with an iPhone was good. 

But this one is better. 

I’ve attached a couple relevant links below for those interested in trying the experiment. Please feel free to reach out: jhaskell@nd.edu. I am happy to talk flip phones, technology moderation or anything else! 

Two options I’d recommend: 

1) A solid flip phone for most carriers. I have had this one before. 

2) Wisephone. Very simple touch-screen phone with only a camera, maps, text, calls and a clock. My brother has this one and would recommend it. 

Some phone plans allow an immediate sim card switch, some don’t.

Joshua Haskell

junior

Oct. 26

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Viewpoint

The funk is necessary

I knew I was in a funk when I took myself on a lake walk last Saturday. While the cause was unclear at the time, I knew for sure my funk was triggered by something. Specifically, I knew it was triggered by my self-imposed “Snapchat Detox”: I would allow myself only 15 minutes of Snapchat per day and see how it made me feel. 

The idea for the detox emerged from a funk within itself. During a Wednesday afternoon dining hall lunch, my friend told me I seemed distracted, and of course, I knew my friend was right. I had been fidgeting nonstop with my phone, avoiding eye contact with my friends and shaking my leg anxiously under the table. Admittedly, I’d been like this for days, weeks even — going to Snapchat in a dull moment, craving some sense of community on my iPhone during alone time and finding little success. That’s when I knew I had to make a change; there was something going on internally that I didn’t have the space to identify at the time. 

I didn’t realize how painful the change would be — not necessarily my “breakup” with Snapchat, but my breakup with the bad habits, dopamine rush and anxiety facilitated by it. But, above all, I struggled to break up with the on-demand socialization the app provided, the way I always had hundreds of friends in my pocket at any given time. 

That day by the lake, however, I had hit my time limit for the day and was finally totally alone. Listening to some playlist that feels like July, I had my first good cry of October. And while I couldn’t quite tell you the reason at the time, the cry felt very right. Clinging to myself like some homesick child, tear-filled eyes darting away from runners and elderly folks, I felt myself begin to unravel. But before I could fixate or process much of anything, I called some friends and made some plans. Before I knew it, we were heading to Rocco’s, having some laughs (and exceptionally good pizza) and driving around South Bend listening to music. I felt far away from the feelings I had on that lake walk; I felt better. 

But the moment I returned to my room and was completely alone again, I was immediately hit with the same kind of empty, pit-in-my-stomach feeling, that funky feeling from the lake. This time, instead of calling someone and making more plans, I took stock of my worries: I realized I was worried about classes, relationships and my major. I was hit with everything I had worked so hard to avoid. And that’s when I realized no one could remedy this funk, except for me. No social media app or song or substance or chaotic weekend adventure would cure my overwhelming sense of desolation. Not even a friend could fill the void. I had to handle it on my own. 

The next morning, I woke up early (a rare, but beautiful occurrence) and met Andrea for a quick brunch at South. I told her about the funk and the detox, and how I think they are connected. It seemed to me that my excessive Snapchat usage was driven by my fears of being alone and out-of-the-loop, and especially, my fear of losing touch. In general, my funk manifested out of my fear of social isolation, something I know rings true for most of my friends and peers. 

I challenged myself to expose myself to these fears in small ways by being alone, being out-of-the-loop, and losing touch with some people, even just for a few days. And although being forced to confront these problems has been annoying, I feel it is necessary. The funk is not the site of growth; getting out of the funk is the site of growth. 

An old mentor once told me that during these periods, we must call upon the times we were the most “us.” We must participate in the activities, habits and practices that make us feel the most alive. This could mean journaling, playing an instrument, going for a run or watching a movie. This could mean eating your favorite food, maintaining a clean space or drinking more water. It sounds simple to do the things we love or do the things that are good for us, but these tasks can be so daunting when we are struggling with seemingly insurmountable worries. 

So I started with just one: I started with running. While I’m only a few days into my goal of running consistently again, I can feel myself getting better. I can feel myself returning to a “me” that wasn’t so consumed with my social life and personal chaos; I can feel myself unraveling in a good way this time, opening myself up to new possibilities outside of my phone and even outside of my friends. 

I’m not saying I have the cure to a funk, nor am I saying that everyone should upend their daily routines and habits and delete their Snapchat accounts. Instead, I’m seeking to normalize a space that so often gets neglected because, really, funks are good. Funks are the launchpad for greater development and deeper understanding of oneself and others. Funks are the answer to all the worries that get buried during long weeks studying and chasing parties. Funks are the thing that forces us to tap in again. 

Kate Casper (aka, Casper, Underdog or Jasmine) is from Northern Virginia, currently residing in Breen-Phillips Hall. She strives to be the best waste of your time. You can contact her at kcasper@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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News

Tri-campus discusses accountability, prevention after posts detail alleged sexual assault cases

By Genevieve Coleman and Liam Price

Editor’s note: This story includes mentions of sexual assault. A list of sexual assault reporting options and on-campus resources can be found on the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross websites. 

Last Tuesday, a group of students protested on God Quad in the wake of a post from a student on social media claiming the University mishandled their Title IX case regarding an alleged instance of sexual assault.

Following the initial post, at least four more students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s posted their stories of alleged sexual assault on their personal social media accounts. The posts have sparked discussion, both online and offline, of how tri-campus students and administration can best handle this topic.

“We were here because … a student posted a very concerning post on Instagram detailing their experience with SA, going through the Title IX office and not being supported or represented the way that they had hoped to,” fifth-year Tony Perez said of the protest. 

The protest had a small turnout, Perez acknowledged, but he said the support was still present.

“There are a lot more people who stand with us physically and metaphorically, that are more than happy to believe survivors and are more than happy to make sure that justice is spelled out,” he said.

In response to the social media posts, University spokesperson Dennis Brown stated Notre Dame cannot discuss specific cases of student discipline. 

“In compliance with federal privacy laws, we cannot and do not discuss specific student disciplinary cases, nor do we confirm whether a specific matter is being or has been investigated,” Brown said.

He continued by discussing Notre Dame’s efforts to combat sexual violence. 

“Sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence can occur anywhere, and Notre Dame is not exempt from that reality,” Brown stated. “The University works tirelessly to combat sexual violence through numerous initiatives that seek to educate our students, heighten their awareness and support victims and survivors. Rape and sexual assault are unacceptable and are not tolerated in the Notre Dame community.”

Saint Mary’s vice president for student enrollment and engagement Lori Johnson also commented on the resources the College has created. 

“We are aware of our student’s posts on social media and understand the heartfelt reaction it has generated on campus,” Johnson said. “However, we cannot comment on the specifics of our student or her story. The College has worked diligently to put resources in place to support our students. These resources and initiatives are available to all students through the Office of Student Involvement & Advocacy and BAVO (Belles Against Violence [Office]).”

Student leaders respond to multiple claims of sexual violence

Earlier this week, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) posted a statement on Instagram to show their “love, support and advocacy for anyone who has endured hardships pertaining to sexual assault and sexual violence.”

The post also acknowledged that SGA leaders were in communication with the Saint Mary’s administration about these issues, though it would be “​​a process that takes time.”

SGA vice president Josie Haas said she takes pride in the strength of tri-campus community members.

“[SGA president] Angela [Camacho Martinez] and I wanted to make sure that our Belles felt supported by our SGA, wanted them to feel heard and wanted to bring as much attention to their strength as possible because their stories are worth being heard and we need others to see the gravity of this issue in our tri-campus community,” Haas said.

Notre Dame student government also posted a guide to supporting survivors on their Instagram page this week. 

Notre Dame’s student body president Patrick Lee said the student government’s stance is centered on survivor support, encouraging students to be active bystanders and bringing student concerns to the Office of Institutional Equity.

“Since everything has been going on, student support has always been on the front of our minds,” he said.

Belles Supporting Belles (BSB) president Annie Maher discussed her anger about reading how survivors claimed a lack of support from tri-campus institutions. 

“When I first read some of the survivors’ stories, I was angered by the lack of support these students felt,” Maher said. “Not only did these students go through an extremely traumatic experience that no person should ever have to go through, but then they received little to no support after that experience from institutions that are supposed to have their backs.”

Maher also reflected on what she perceives to be a lack of change in how the tri-campus handles sexual assault cases. 

“It pained me to see another group of students have to share their story to try to ignite some action in the tri-campus community,” she said. “Talk to pretty much any student on all three of the campuses and you will understand that this is an issue.”

Leaders plan initiatives to support students

Camacho Martinez noted that SGA’s social concerns committee has been working on the annual Support a Belle, Love a Belle (SBLB) week and adapted their plans to highlight campus resources. 

“There have been plans on adjusting a few days of SBLB to center more on resources made available to campus, like Callisto,” Camacho Martinez said. “I think this is a valuable resource that assists in the encounter of sexual assault and/or sexual violence faced by not just SMC students but also Notre Dame and Holy Cross students.”

Haas also emphasized SBLB is a time where students in the community can support each other.

“Overall, the purpose of this week is to show the support and love we have for one another as Belles,” she said. “By being an uplifting community, we give each other strength and inspire ourselves to be the amazing Belles I know we are despite negative circumstances. We can help each other overcome whatever is placed in our pathway.”

Lee said student government has been addressing the situation for the past two weeks. He outlined plans for a survivor mass at the Basilica, a speak out event supporting survivors, GreenDot training for students and a survey gathering information to evaluate the reporting process for harassment and discrimination on campus.

Student Government is also co-sponsoring the panel “Walking Hand in Hand: Navigating the sexual assault support system on campus,” with the Gender Relations Center, director of gender relations Lane Obringer said.

Saint Mary’s Feminists United president Madison Mata said the organization will continue to serve as a place for students to feel safe and become more educated about relevant issues. 

“I think for Feminists United as a whole, it’s gonna be being able to open up the floor to people who want to share their stories — whether it’s sexual violence or assault or anything like that,” she said. “In general, just being able to be a safe space for them, sharing resources, staying educated and making sure that like-minded people are in the club for the right reasons.”

In addition, Feminists United is inviting local female politicians to speak to Saint Mary’s students on Saturday about their experiences in politics and the importance of voting. 

Like Mata, Maher is organizing specific events but encouraged students to use the student concern form on the BSB website to discuss sexual violence on campus. 

“Belles Supporting Belles is working towards creating an event to address these stories. Our main priority right now is to make sure that students’ voices are heard,” Maher said. “Right now, we have created a student concern form that is in our Instagram bio that students can fill out regarding their concerns about sexual violence and safety on campus.”

Student leaders call for accountability

Camacho Martinez referred back to SGA’s initial communication with College administrators and called on them to keep creating ways to support Saint Mary’s students. 

“For any SMC administrators who will read this story, I know we are already working through this process with you, but let’s see what more we can do to be supportive of our SMC students, inspire other tri-campus administrators to be supportive of their respective students and hopefully evoke change in the system that fails to believe our survivors,” she said. 

Lee said the issue of handling sexual violence better will require the whole Notre Dame community, both students and administration, working together. 

“If Notre Dame really is going to be this really amazing community that we all want it to be, we all know it can be, as inclusive as possible, as supportive as possible, then everybody needs to take accountability for the safety of others,” Lee said. 

It is a large task, but one Lee believes the community can do. 

“It’s my belief that we absolutely can. I’ve seen it a number of times,” Lee said. “From my point of view, three plus years of being a student leader here, it really does start with us. We can all be responsible for our own actions.”

Maher also called for administrator accountability, as well as implementing more comprehensive action steps during an ongoing investigation. 

“I am tired, as I am sure many students are, of basic apologies from administrators. Students deserve positive action from the administration,” Maher said. “Comprehensive action plans for when a student reports a sexual assault, immediate probation/academic suspension when a perpetrator is identified, and other solutions are vital in maintaining a safe campus while the investigation is underway.”

She also claimed that based on the recent narratives of survivors, administrations are not believing their stories.

“The stories we heard last week are just a few of many survivors who have endured violent acts on our campuses,” she said. “Our institutions need to believe survivors, and based on the stories that were shared last week, that isn’t happening.”

Contact Genevieve Coleman at gcoleman01@saintmarys.edu and Liam Price at lprice3@nd.edu