Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 5/1/11 10:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum discussed student participation in sexual assault awareness events. How can we involve more students in conversations about preventing sexual assault, particularly those who are not typically engaged in such dialogues?

Older students must set examples for underclassmen. We need to hold each other accountable for greater awareness and understanding, as well as a stronger commitment to change. Talking to students where they hang out or live may be a good approach Mentors Against Violence facilitations for new Greek members or freshman floor meeting discussions are great examples of this method but they will only truly be useful if students listen to the ideas that are presented with an open mind and choose to hold their peers to a standard by which sexual assault is unacceptable.Emily Baxter

You can never force a meaningful conversation. However, I think requiring fraternities and sororities to host discussion forums and facilitations with sexual assault groups on campus would create more and more opportunities for productive conversation.Jacob Batchelor

There should be a Friday night event once a term between sororities and fraternities that is not a tails event. Instead, it should involve a non-alcoholic, frank discussion of consent and the normative expectations of both genders in our social scene. There is a lot of miscommunication that exists in the Greek scene and this type of event would hopefully cause people who are actively involved in Greek life to think more about its consequences.Natalie Colaneri

Visible, forceful, yet unaggressive projects work best at forcing people to consider these issues. Efforts like the Clothesline Project probably go further toward achieving this goal than marches, which some people incorrectly interpret as rallies against certain groups on campus.Brendan Woods

Sadly, a community's full attention to a serious issue is engaged only after it occurs on an extreme and devastating level. Airport security increased only after the September 11 and federal emergency response was reformed after Hurricane Katrina. At Dartmouth, an alcohol-related student death would prompt a spike in campuswide interest in alcohol policy. But with sexual assault an issue just as serious as alcohol such incidents cannot be publicized for obvious reasons. Statistics and speakers who recount on past assaults have unfortunately not proven to be enough motivation for our campus to pay attention.Louis Wheatley

Future events should focus on incorporating the thoughts and opinions of a wide range of groups, not just those that are already active in gender issues on campus. If the issue is perceived in a victim versus perpetrator light, certain groups will continue to feel uncomfortable joining the conversation.Lauren Rosenbaum

Discussion on this campus currently revolves too much around the mistaken perception that sexual assault is part of a supposedly much wider issue of discrimination against women. Discourse needs to be aimed at the real problem, which is a contemptible campus culture that doesn't promote the expectation that men treat women with respect. Redirecting focus will engage many community members who would otherwise stand on the sidelines.Roger Lott

The best way to foster a constructive dialogue about sexual assault and include those not typically engaged is through one-on-one conversations. Large campus discussions and theatrics have little effect on these unengaged individuals, and on most students for that matter. More important and longer-lasting change can only take place in a face-to-face discussion with someone.Jasper Hicks