Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fifteen forcible sexual offences at Macalester in the last three years

Every year, Macalester is required by federal law to release a report detailing campus safety and various safety/security policies. This includes statistics on reported crimes against students, and where they occurred. This is typically distributed at Mac via email by Terry Gorman in the form of a long PDF. I decided to read this report, to save you the trouble of sifting through it.

Overall, Macalester is a pretty safe campus. Over the last three years: zero homicides, one robbery, one aggravated assault, one stolen car, and a handful of burglaries in the dorms (lock your doors, people). Unsurprisingly, each year there are several hundred write ups relating to illegal drug and alcohol use, although few are referred to the St. Paul Police.

The most disturbing fact in the report is the number of sex offences. Macalester has had fifteen forcible sex offences over the last three years, including six last year. The report doesn't distinguish between types of sex crimes, so they could be anything from fondling to rape. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that any amount of sexual assault on campus should be considered unacceptable. It's worth noting that this report only includes crimes reported to security - and according to RAINN, only about half of all sexual assaults are ever reported.

Very little about any of these incidents is every publicized for obvious reasons, including their eventual outcomes. But I was reminded once again of Anna Binkovitz' article last year in the Mac Weekly. Her rapist was allowed to stay at Mac, graduate and collect his degree:
I will also be tied to what I see as a pattern of survivors of sexual assault who are forced to watch their school choose to protect the future of criminals over their own safety...
I want my Macalester degree to be associated with the amazing people I see everyday, but when we allow predators to graduate without having to learn from their mistakes, we are ensuring that our school’s reputation will be determined by their future actions.
And I think that pretty much says it all. I don't normally try to plug my own blog beyond posting new stuff to my personal Facebook, but please consider sharing this with your Mac friends on Facebook or Twitter using the buttons at the bottom. The more attention this gets, the more likely something will get done about it.

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