Letter From the Editors: Addressing Sexual Assault

There have been a number of reported sexual assaults on Villanova’s campus.

The past few weeks on campus have been tumultuous and exhausting. The recent sexual assault cases on campus have raised concerns about our safety and have added another layer of anxiety to an already taxing time. This, in conjunction with the University’s lack of adequate communication about the attacks, has cultivated a strain on the student body that needs to be addressed. 

The board of The Villanovan stands with survivors. We are allies and supporters. These occurrences are incredibly disheartening and have sparked a greater conversation about safety and support on campus. It is important that we curate an honest environment that prioritizes the security of every individual on our campus. 

We call on our community to promote safety and protect our fellow students. This is only attainable if we are all committed to making a safe campus. It is additionally important that we do not shy away from tough conversations about sexual assault, as we need to educate one and other in order to be adequate allies. 

Rape is a frightening topic, but it is a severe, lifechanging occurrence and warrants a greater conversation. This violence is something that no person should ever have to endure, and in the hope of minimizing the likelihood of sexual assaults on campus as much as possible, it is essential that we have these conversations. 

We also call on the University to hold these individuals accountable and foster transparency regarding the state of our safety on campus. We ask for honest, open communication to the student body and assurance in the commitment to our security. Thus far, the communication has only brought about more tension in these trying times. 

We are in favor of change on the part of the University in order to further ensure safety of the student body. The current state is insufficient and needs alteration, as these past few weeks have proven. 

The current language and procedure surrounding sexual misconduct on campus is dissatisfactory, ignorant and concerningly untimely. Communication should come from the administration in a timely manner so students are aware of threats to their safety as soon as possible. Furthermore, the terminology used to describe rape should be professional and accurate to the severity of the situation. 

We are calling on the University to provide on-going education about sexual violence that goes beyond one course. This dialogue should be continuous and frequent as a preventative measure, rather than a reactionary effort. 

The first half of this semester has proven to be exceedingly stressful. It is important that we not only seek to ensure our wellbeing in regard to the pandemic, but also in regard to protecting the physical safety of all students. 

We are capable of getting through this, but only with the dedication of every single member of this community. As a community, we need to do our part to continue advocating for the rights and respect of victims, as well as committing to look out for each other and curate an environment on campus that is intolerant and condemning of sexual violence.