College Position Tantamount to Endorsing Rape

To the Editor:

I would like to add my name to the list of students disgusted and ashamed at the College’s response to the rape that took place on our campus the night of Drag Ball. The Review quoted Dean of Students Peter Goldsmith and assistant director of the Student Union Chris Baymiller as stating that security was successful the night of Drag Ball. How can security be successful when a campus security guard is suspected of committing a rape just outside Drag Ball?
The College insinuated two reasons for its disinterest in a rape on our campus by one of its employees. The first reason given was that the victim was not a student. By this, it seems that the College does not take the safety into consideration of non-students on its campus.
The second reason was that the victim was drunk. Baymiller stated that claims he thinks the victim was a drunk townie who was refused entrance to the Ball. Not only should Baymiller be ashamed of his comments, but the Review as well for printing them as relevant information.
What should be of interest to us is not who the victim is or what she was doing. No matter what she was wearing, who she is, where she was, and what she was doing, no one had the right to rape her. Our focus should be on the rapist, someone the College employed to ensure our safety. The College only fired this man days after the attack because he “failed to cooperate.” Our focus should be on the College, who blatantly disregards rape on this campus. In last week’s Review, Nancy Dye claimed that there is no one is at risk in the wake of the attack. Why hasn’t this attack sparked a review of the other security officers or of the College’s safety policies? If a security guard can rape a non-student then he can rape a student. If a woman can be raped outside a crowded building in the center of this campus, then where are we safe? From Dye’s previous actions, we know that she is only interested in how the College looks and not in what happens to numerous one this campus who are sexually victimized.
By making comments which push the blame from the perpetrator and the College, the blame lies with the victim. The response of the College can only be described as pro-rape.
Our focus should be on ourselves, and how we silently allow these things to continue. I personally will be graduating soon, and so my options to take action are limited. In protest to the way that this matter was handled, I refuse to offer any financial support as an alum to this college until such time as the College can prove that it takes rape seriously. I also intend to share this letter with other alumni that I have contact with. I encourage my fellow graduates to do the same. To my fellow students who will remain at Oberlin College, I encourage you to find ways to not let the College forget that a woman was raped here and that we will not stand for their self-interested, pro-rape response.

–Debra Guckenheimer 
College senior


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