Open Letter to the Class of 2016

Dear the Class of 2016,

We have finally done it. We have gone through four years of all nighters, classes, pep rallies, and a lot of tears. There have been easy moments, but there have also been hard moments. And as much as we are going to miss each other and our staff and Thornton Academy in general, we are so excited for what our lives will be next fall. For most of us that is college.

College is an exciting opportunity. It is prove that all of the hardwork has paid off. With all of the excitement, comes fear. And, not just the fear of leaving our families and friends behind but of what college actually entails.

Recently a new campaign called “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters”, released six fictional videos on high school seniors opening their college acceptance letters with an real stories of both men and women who were sexually assaulted during their college career.

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Click here to watch this ad campaign

Although the videos are shocking, the topic is a reality for many college students. According to CNN, some of our most elite schools are reporting grim statistics. Harvard has a rate of 29 percent of women who have been sexually assaulted. Yale has an even higher rate of 32 percent of their female students who have been sexually assaulted.

According to CNN, 23% of women will experience some form of sexual assault during their college years.

This information should scare our entire class. That means our current girlfriends, best friends, and sisters are at risk for being assaulted.

` We need to be the class to change that. Yes, you are probably rolling your eyes in disbelief that we could possible change something so massive, but we easily could.

To start off with, stop blaming victims. Yes, they might have gotten a bit drunk or made a  mistake in judgement, but they did not ask to be raped. Just because they were intoxicated or wore a certain outfit, does not mean they asked to be assaulted. Even if they agreed to make out, if they at any point did not give consent, they did not ask for it.  Society tends to place majority of the blame upon the victim instead of placing the blame upon the person who is the perpetrator of the assault.

 It’s not like colleges haven’t put any effort into trying to change this. One of the big efforts made by colleges, is to crack down much harder on fraternities. According to US News, Dartmouth, Brown, and a few other schools have banned hard alcohol. University of Virginia requires at least three fraternity brothers to stay sober and monitor the parties and requires security guards at larger parties.

But ultimately, it is up to each individual incoming freshmen class to change this unacceptable culture. Even if we just stop one person from being assaulted or raped, that is one less sister, daughter, one less friend that has to live with the trauma.

Sincerely,

Camille, a senior who wants to see this change.

2 Responses to Open Letter to the Class of 2016

  1. Skylar May 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    This is so empowering. Seeing statistics on rape in college is so alarming and I feel as though not enough is really done about it. Go you for writing an article to spread awareness because this can be a tough subject for many people. Seeing the most prestigious schools having such high percentages for rape is scary to me. It goes to show that it really happens EVERYWHERE and not just in huge state schools/party schools. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ali May 19, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Very eye opening. I feel like a lot of people shut out the idea of rape or the thought that it could ever happen to them. We need to raise awareness that rape is a huge threat to male and female college students wherever they attend school.

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