Editors Note: Reed Steberger ’13 ended their candidacy for Tompkins County Legislature Thursday night.
In less than one week, Democrats will head to the polls to elect their nominees for the Tompkins County legislature. In District 4, incumbent Rich John ’81, who won a write-in campaign four years ago, is being challenged by Reed Steberger ’13. No candidate in the race has been endorsed by this paper. However, following a disturbing report in The Sun about Steberger’s conduct while at Cornell University, we are calling on Steberger to drop out of contention for this seat.
I recently received a check up at Gannett. The counselor went through every box on the routine survey, and right before I was about to exit the room and head to my 10:10 a.m. class, she goes, “Oh by the way, I see you checked the box for ‘non-consensual sex.’ Do you want to talk about it?” She had said it so casually — almost forgotten the question even, that I was in no way enticed to rehash stale memories with this women, who didn’t seem to care, as this was objective and procedural for her. A week later and I’m still thinking about that same question and I still don’t want to answer it. I’m not interested in using this piece as a place to talk about any of my personal experiences with sexual assault, but rather, as a platform to critique Cornell’s lax policy towards reported sexual assault cases on campus, as well as the internalized misogyny that surfaces when our legal system handles rape cases, particularly when women are the victims. Sexual assault cases fall under Title IX and Cornell now has more open active Title IX investigations than any other university. In fact, it is alleged that Cornell is not even bothering to investigate these cases and students are filing complaints.
ByGwendolyn Aviles, Hadiyah Chowdury, Jazlin Gomez, Alfie Rayner and Matti Yarn |
This letter is a response to “Addressing Male Sexual Victimization at Tapestry.” We are the members of Ordinary People, the student group which writes, performs, and co-facilitates Tapestry of Possibilities, one of the orientation events mentioned in a recent article and letter to the editor. We would like to begin by mentioning that Tapestry of Possibilities is an event focused on myriad possible scenarios that students may experience on this campus. The content in our show, in fact, is completely based on the real experiences of students. Tapestry does not exist to provide solutions or demands but to start an ongoing dialogue about overlooked issues amongst Cornell students.
Re: “First-Year Students Raise Concerns About Orientation Events at Student Assembly Meeting,” News, Sept. 2
To the Editor:
I was taken aback to read that Cornell’s mandatory orientation sessions “Tapestry” and “Speak About It” exclude coverage of male sexual victimization from their presentations. Still more extraordinary was the justification offered by a moderator when questioned about the absence: “[sexual violence] predominantly affects females, so we address the female issue.”
Such adherence to a long-discredited “one size fits all” approach, on the part of an individual specifically charged with educating the Cornell student body about the dynamics of sexual assault, is disquieting. Only last semester, in her keynote address for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, author and activist Kate Harding — herself a victim of campus rape — reminded the audience at Flora Rose House of the importance of not overlooking men and boys who have suffered sexual violence. “When you put people into one of these ‘unrapeable’ categories,” she said, “that just creates more barriers to [victims] being able to access resources and find help, let alone find justice.”
This message has clearly been lost on those in charge of Cornell’s first-year orientation, and the consequences are both obvious and alarming.
“I’ll make you cum.” Two weeks into college I found myself locked in the bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably. His vile words lingered in my mind, adamant and uncompromising, insisting we were going back to his room to have sex and swearing he would bring me to orgasm. I thought of how little my voice mattered. How my pathetic, intoxicated protestations were no match for a strong will and forceful grasp. Undeterred, he continued to shove his tongue down my throat as my words glanced off of him.