Fire Hazards: a Bigger Priority than Sexual Assault


My friend and I were having a discussion the other day, and she told me a story that filled me with so much disgust about DePauw’s misplaced priorities that I had to write about it. In fact, I would be doing the campus an injustice by not telling this story that proves the campus is more worried about fire alarms than protecting the women of DePauw.

Let me first begin by telling you what I heard. My friend told me she was going about her day when she heard a group of guys having a conversation. Not your typical frat guy, "that beer was really good" conversation, but one that revolved around how to properly sexually assault a girl.

Not only was this conversation just a casual one that they had in the open, but they seemed to have their technique down pat. First, they said, get her drunk and then kindly sit her down to play a game of “firetruck,” only when the girl demands you stop, don’t. Claiming that “fire trucks don’t stop for red lights.” So you guys who had this conversation in the library, DePauw may not be interested, but we know what you’re up to.

So I sat there, and I wondered. What on earth could ever make a guy think that it is okay to sexually assault a girl, and have a step-by-step method? And then I realized, the school has clearly given a message to all the boys out there that it is almost too easy to get away with it because they have more important matters on their hands. Like people pulling fire alarms and burning couches.

You heard them, girls, the school cares more about punishing fire hazards rather than our safety. In fact, I have witnessed the fire alarm puller and couch burners face more heat (no pun intended) and punishment than someone who committed sexual assault. I mean, a guy had to have five sexual assault charges before expulsion, but you pull one fire alarm and you’re out of here. It is clear DePauw has some shaky priorities when it comes to what really matters on campus.

No, I am not saying that burning couches and setting off fire alarms is okay, because it is not. I do believe that the perpetrators should be reprimanded. Someone got suspended for pulling a fire alarm, while four more await suspension for couch burning because they made stupid decisions based off a drunken night of celebrating victory. However, a boy on campus who sexually assaulted a girl got a slap on a wrist and was back on campus within a few days. I really hope I am not the only one who finds this absolutely ludicrous.

\Make them pay for the sidewalk, kick them out for winter term, but the second they receive a harsher punishment than someone who, sober or not, committed sexual assault, I cannot keep quiet. Tim Bookwalter, the county prosecutor, even seems to agree that DePauw does not handle sexual assault in the most effective manner.

However, DePauw is more worried about keeping a “positive relationship” with the named attacker, while completely disregarding the long-lasting effects on the victims.

Angie Nally deems burning a couch as “reckless and irresponsible” but I ask: what about those guys who have a plan? Those who believe it is okay to sexually assault a girl because at the end of the day those pulling fire alarms will get in more trouble? I was under the impression that making unwanted sexual aggressions towards a girl was beyond just reckless and irresponsible, but according to what the Administration is focusing on, I must be wrong.

Not only do I feel bad for the victims, like Angel Torres, who were strong enough to come forward, only to have their brave actions completely invalidated, I feel bad for the girls getting preyed upon this very moment.

Don’t worry though ladies! The school swears that they will hold those who burnt the couch accountable, no need to worry about fire hazards tonight because those are clearly more of a problem than boys who take advantage of us at our weakest moments.

Nevermind the sidewalk that has to be replaced, what about the memories that replay in a victim's head? Can you replace those?