It seems that every week another shocking arrest and/or allegation concerning Boston University has crept out of a dark, eerie tunnel and into public knowledge and outcry. BU hockey players and their sexual assaults, the FreeP April Fool’s day fuck up, the frat boys duct-tape hazing incident, several dorm shower peeping incidents. It’s as if every college-nightmare cliché has suddenly decided to rear its High-Life-and-apple-martini-filled head.
After all of these “high-profile” incidents that have gone down this academic year at BU, at least the University is now attempting to take steps toward fixing the problem, instead of sending potentially victimized students to an endless loop of automated menus.
According to a BU Today article, BU President Robert A. Brown announced on April 29 that the university will open
an on-campus crisis center this fall “dedicated to sexual assault prevention and support for survivors of sexual assault and other forms of physical abuse, such as hazing.”
Something tells me all of these recent allegations may have given the BU administration the hard push it needed to start getting its students and “reputation” in line. However, the center has always been a goal for BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism (CGSA).
“We started a petition in March…it’s hard because students turn over every four years. Since we started the center three years ago we knew it was something that had to happen,” said BU senior and CGSA member Michelle Weiser.
Whether or not the establishment of the crisis center is some twisted form of damage control, the important point is it’s finally being created. According to BU Today, the crisis center, which will be overseen by Student Health Services, will have at least three full-time clinical staff members who are trained in crisis and sexual assault counseling, as well as one full-time nonclinical “prevention specialist” who will be in charge of training, outreach, and referrals.
It may just be a start, but humans are more helpful than answering machines.
“It was something that needed to happen for a while and it’s sad that these high-profile events had to push it…It’s sad that you need proof but it’s kind of the nature of things.”
It doesn’t necessarily have to be that there’s an increase in allegations of the sort. It could very well be true that students who have been and are currently being victimized now feel more comfortable talking about their experiences. Every university will have some degree of sexual assault, what matters is what the administration can do to help and the open environment and “culture of awareness “ it can create.
“With the center BU is making strides and saying ‘Yes, it’s part of our university, because it’s part of every university,’” Weiser said. “We really wanted to say we are proud of BU, proud of the way the university is handling this. It really confirms that yes, our administration will work with us.”