Rape by any other name

Here goes.Normally in this space, I’d be subjecting you Spartans to my off-the-cuff brand of lowbrow humor, which provides about as many health benefits to your brain as McDonald’s does to your butt.

But not today.

Today I’ve actually got something worth writing about; a campus-wide concern that needs to be cracked in the proverbial gonads with a two-ton hammer, rather than sugar-coated and censored for the sake of our Spartan pride.

Sexual assaults.

Cut the crap already. Let’s stop kidding ourselves by calling these pathetic examples of MAN’s uncontrollable drunken urges “assaults.” It’s time to address them by what they really are -RAPES.

Doesn’t that sound better? Sound meatier? Doesn’t that word just make you want to stand up and jab a pen into somebody’s heart? I know I get revved up when I hear it. Especially when that word is said in the context of my fellow peers – you Spartans.

What the hell have we become? And yes, I use the word “we” to include myself – as well as each and every one of you – in this argument. This problem may have originally only involved a few people, but we are ALL facing the firing squad for these crimes.

And rightfully so! This is OUR campus – this is OUR home – for the better part of four years of our lives. And seeing as the suspect(s) involved likely is a CSC student or students, it is OUR responsibility to take measures to prevent future occurrences.

It’s like when one of your pets drops a dookie in your parent’s shoes. You may not have been the one to do it, but it’s your pet, so you better bet your ass you’ll be the one stuck cleaning it up.

Castleton needs a shock collar!

Because it’s the same basic principle. We need to control ourselves and each other. We ALL need to find a way to resolve this problem rather than sweep it under the rug for a few months.

How many “assaults” have we had in the last year? Two, right? Ohhh no Charlie boy! We had a similar incident happen just last semester in the spring. Betcha’ already forgot about that one, eh?

And like these current incidents, the spring ordeal eventually turned out to be a dead stick, with no real public conclusion to the case, except that it was PROBABLY alcohol-related and PROBABLY just “one of those things” that happens sometimes in college.

Y’know. . . ‘notta big deal.

See, it’s that mentality that makes me want to snap rubber bands against someone’s pupils. We like to say and act like it’s a big deal, sending out public warnings or holding protest marches in order to look like we’re doing our part. But what’s really getting accomplished? What’s really going to change?

Like most American Idol winners, our fascination with these events is only temporary. We’re doomed to forget everything in a few weeks – no bull.

To make matters worse, reports in the Rutland Herald state that in both incidents, neither of the victims wanted to get the police involved, and, coincidentally or conveniently, very little description of the suspect could be provided. Suspicions have been circulating around campus that the victims are possibly protecting the identities of the attacker for one reason:

They’re friends with them.


Yes, I understand that people are entitled to privacy, and coming forth after being raped is something I would never wish on anyone. But think of it this way: you’re letting the attackers win. Friend of not, they’re going to get away with the whole damn thing, laughing at you as you lock away your secrets in the bog of your brain. HA! HA! HA!

Oh, and don’t forget, others are now at risk of being victimized by the same degenerates. They could stalk campuses for the rest of their lives if they wanted.

What’s the use in reporting it in the first place if you’re not going to follow through on it?

I know I’m coming off incredibly harsh and abrasive, and maybe a little less sympathetic than I should be, and I apologize. But some things need to be said before some things can be done. More needs to be done than just recommending pepper spray and switchblades, or flashlights and stun guns.

We are the “small college with a big heart.” We’re the Cheers of college campuses – everyone knows your name. But we’re still just as vulnerable as everyone else; maybe even more so because we never expect incidents like this to happen in honky-tonk Vermont-but they do.

This is our campus – our extended family – and we need to stop at nothing to protect it. What happens to one of us is a direct reflection of us all. One person can cast shade or sunshine over an entire community if their actions are large enough.

As a freshman, I remember people used to, and still do, joke about the South Street parking lot. They laughed and giggled as college kids do, referring to it as the “rape lot.” Seeing as seems like a mile away from campus and darker than a coal miner’s shadow, the nickname made perfect sense.

God, it sure seemed so funny then – but not anymore.

Now it’s real.

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