Letter to the Editor: Placing Blame on Victims

Dear Editor,

I am an economics major here at WC and am in disbelief about the events that have transpired. As someone who was in a class with Professor Wang, I could not believe what I was hearing about the sexual harassment and overall predatory behavior that he was exhibiting. I had never expected him to be capable of doing something like that and was at first impressed by the College’s seemingly swift response to the matter.

That was, until the campus received the College’s first statement on the matter via Dean DiQuinzio’s email. As a writer for The Elm, I have learned to see through the College as an organization. I knew the statement was mostly just the College trying to cover themselves before the barrage of angry parental phone calls and uproar in the alumni community. As a decent human being, I saw the email as an example of victim blaming.

No one could have expected this type of behavior so I do not blame the College in any way for that but I do however blame them for trying to turn the situation around on the students. With the reminder of the Social Media Policy and such statements as, “if you receive text messages from someone you don’t know personally, we suggest that you ignore them,” and telling students to “refresh” themselves about “good practices for online safety,” it shifted the blame on the students for answering messages from someone that they had thought was just a freshman trying to make friends but was a predator in disguise.

This reminds me of the urging of women to not drink or wear short skirts because men will be more likely to prey upon them. Telling people to change their behavior so that someone does not violate their trust and personal feelings of safety is disgusting to me on many levels.

For a school that is supposedly so liberal, it struck me as very out of character. With all of the talk swirling of men in positions of power committing horrifying acts of harassment and even assault, it is time that we actually hold those responsible accountable and stop looking to see what the victims could have done to change their situation. I commend the young women who reported this abuse by someone in power in the faculty and believe that they did not need to do more than they already did.

So to those affected by this: good job. I am sorry that you had to go through this and you did the right thing. Do not let anyone tell you what else you should have done. This is not your fault.

To the College’s administration: do better. You are here to protect students and make an environment that students want to be a part of. I give you some credit for firing the professor but that is to be expected. What is not expected is you turning the situation around on the students and telling them how to change their ways. They are not the ones that need to change.

Thank you, Brooke Schultz, for digging deep and taking this story out of the grapevine. Had The Elm not published a story about the incidences, I do not believe that the College would have said anything about it.

Thank you and kindest regards,

Amy Rudolph, junior

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