“Rape guide” puts Dartmouth student in danger

Thousands of Americans are enraged by an incident that occurred at Dartmouth College regarding an anonymous website and a “rape guide.”

“My first reaction … was disgust and dismay,” said Guilford College second-year and Students Assault Awareness Support and Advocacy member Naomi Madaras. “It is terrifying and painful to see that sexual assault is so prevalent on college campuses.”

After one young woman’s name was published on the student-run Bored@Baker website in a “rape guide” on Jan. 10, she was attacked in February.

“For the first time in months, I started feeling safe,” the woman told The Huffington Post. “I went out last week and got assaulted at the first and only house I went to. Then I got told it happens all the time.”

While the author of the “rape guide” is currently being put through Dartmouth’s judicial process, questions have arisen regarding the College’s role in content published on Bored@Baker.

“Bored@Baker is an anonymous online forum designed by an individual outside of the Dartmouth community,” said Dartmouth senior Holli Weed in an email interview with The Guilfordian. “As such, it is not under the jurisdiction of Dartmouth and is protected by free speech.”

In response to debate about whether Dartmouth should shut down the website, an anonymous source and moderator of Bored@Baker insists that the website is invaluable to the student body.

“While these kinds of posts can surface, it is an indispensable means of communication,” said the source in a phone interview with The Guilfordian. “It’s been a really valuable resource for students working through personal issues. It has talked people out of suicide.”

Although Dartmouth cannot claim responsibility for the website’s content, many believe that this is just one more incident on a long list of unanswered problems.

“Dartmouth has had a problem with rape and sexual assault for decades,” said UltraViolet campaign director Karin Roland in an interview with Think Progress. “They have a long history with this issue, and student groups on campus are finally fed up and are leading the charge.”

However, sexual assault extends far beyond the campus grounds of Dartmouth.

“Many campuses are struggling due to the complexity of the issues involved,” said Guilford’s Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs Aaron Fetrow. “Colleges understand that we must continue to work on prevention initiatives, but my colleagues across the country complain that the only way this will change is by changing student behavior.”

At Guilford, change, in the form of a clarification, may be the need of the hour.

“Guilford needs to make the judicial process more clear to students,” said  Madaras. “Many sexual assault victims aren’t aware that they have the right to an advocate in the judicial process. Most of the solutions for Guilford involve a lot of funding … like hiring full-time staff members for the wellness position and providing sexual assault response training for the deans.”.