I write to clarify my views on an item in the most recent issue of our school newspaper in an article that addressed the alarming increase of sexual assaults on our campus. I expressed how very concerned I am about campus safety in every way—a concern shared by every college president in America– and I am glad that The DePauw is bringing attention to the very important and concerning issue of sexual assault. In discussing the crime of sexual assault with the editor, I stated I wanted to look at the operational ways we as a university could reduce sexual assault and how we, as a campus, could help each other be as safe as possible. I also stated that these things are often related to alcohol.
My words were intended to help raise awareness and as a call for us to work together to make our campus safe. Yet when read, it could seem that I was suggesting sexual violence was caused by alcohol. Sexual violence is caused by the perpetrator. I regret that an inference could be made from this article that I think otherwise. The challenge we face here is a culture– not an alcoholic drink–a culture that allows this type of violence to continue and we each play an integral role in eradicating this culture. Each of us has a vital role in making our world just and safe. I look forward to working with the entire community to do so.
Mark McCoy, Ph.D