'Violence of Any Kind Has No Place on Our Campus'

By Antonio Farias

Wesleyan University supports efforts to draw attention to the problem of sexual violence on college campuses. Brutal assaults like the one described in The Atlantic's article can be traumatic for those directly involved and painful for any community. We consider it an institutional priority to care for survivors, vigorously adjudicate offenses, and create a campus climate that affirms the right of everyone to learn free from the threat of sexual violence. To make it clear: We believe it's always wrong to blame survivors for their assaults, and we reject the implications to the contrary in the article.

With input from students, faculty, and outside experts, Wesleyan has been working to prevent sexual violence, while enhancing its capacity to respond to the needs of survivors and to apprehend and punish the guilty. Information on university policies and practices can be found here. As Wesleyan president, Michael S. Roth, put it: "Violence of any kind has no place on our campus, and sexual violence is particularly pernicious in that it plays on social stereotypes and traditions of exclusion. We applaud groups active across the country, like Know Your IX, which are calling on students to stand up for their right to study in environments free from discrimination, harassment and violence."

We are not at liberty to comment on the specific case described in the article. We do consider productive conversations about the problem of sexual violence and how to eliminate it as critical, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in those discussions.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/violence-of-any-kind-has-no-place-on-our-campus/283928/