The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Staff Editorial: Handling sexual assault isn’t up to students

It takes courage to come forth and say, “I was a victim of sexual assault.”

And when efforts toward justice seem to fall short, there is bound to be an uproar.

Recently there has been criticism of how the administration has handled cases of sexual assault. Those who have been sexually assaulted feel their offenders were not fairly and properly punished, and consequently, the judicial process does not at least bring them, the victims, peace of mind.

Although the administration is following established policies similar to those held by other colleges and universities, the student body still doesn’t feel they are being supported enough on campus with respect to this issue.

It isn’t as if the administration isn’t trying to do what it can for the students. We just hope that the college will continue to take opportunities to improve.

We have several fantastic counselors on campus, and to supplement their efforts, a new “wellness position” has been proposed to provide additional support to sexual assault victims, among other duties.

Here, we run into a familiar problem: funds. Money will be required for this to happen. This position would be filled in a “better budget” scenario ­— a scenario in which the college has money left over from other things.

This situation illustrates why students are unhappy.

Some students do not feel adequately supported by and safe in the institution where they chose to seek higher education. An opportunity has arisen for the college to provide additional support, but this opportunity is not given priority. Students come to conclude that their well-being isn’t important to the school.

Realistically, we know this isn’t the case at Guilford and that the well-being of students is a top priority. So then, shouldn’t  a position like this rank higher than a “better budget” scenario?

The college has said that if students have a concern about the judicial process, the students should express their concerns. Well, here it is.

We know that both the administration and students want to help assault victims; they both want students to get the justice and support they deserve. But students can only say and do so much.

In the end, it’s up to the administration to take action and show students that their well-being is of the utmost importance.

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