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GUEST ROOM | Student Organizations Need to Take Sexual Assault Seriously

Warning: The following content contains sensitive material about sexual assault.

Assault, particularly sexual assault, is supposed to be taken seriously, but are student organizations on campus complicit in excusing these behaviors? With Sexual Assault Awareness Week upon us, many find solace in the knowledge that there is extensive dialogue on this subject, but are mortified that there are so many survivors on Cornell’s campus alone. Even more disturbing, many organizations on campus either do not detail actions and consequences attached to assault and sexual assault or have a formal risk management policy that they do not follow. In my personal experience, every single organization that I have taken a significant part in has been incapable or unwilling to take any concrete action in regard to assault, even after those in charge were made aware of such instances. For example, I approached someone on the E-board of one particular organization in which I was heavily involved to talk about a traumatic experience with another member of the club.