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paarent's concern

2

Replies to: paarent's concern

  • BJM8BJM8 Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    Great post Interesteddad! You're right on about the no shortage of professors relative to the size of the student body at Amherst. Much ado about nothing, I gather. The rape issue is much more important, and needs to be discussed at length at ALL colleges. ALL colleges have binge drinking, and ALL colleges have an alcohol problem. Do not misunderstand me, no one deserves to be raped. But avoiding those potentially dangerous situations should be the focus. I believe that date rape is on the rise, and has been really since the late 80's; this is nothing new to colleges and high schools. Yet, very little education takes place on campuses around this subject. Maybe it's the "not in my backyard" type of thinking, but we must all come to the realization that is does happen "everywhere." All we can do is prepare our children as well as possible for the mean, cruel world waiting for them. Helping them, talking to them so they may avoid those dengerous situations is key. Colleges need to do a better job of doing that as well.
  • BJM8BJM8 Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    Great post Interesteddad! You're right on about the no shortage of professors relative to the size of the student body at Amherst. Much ado about nothing, I gather. The rape issue is much more important, and needs to be discussed at length at ALL colleges. ALL colleges have binge drinking, and ALL colleges have an alcohol problem. Do not misunderstand me, no one deserves to be raped. But avoiding those potentially dangerous situations should be the focus. I believe that date rape is on the rise, and has been really since the late 80's; this is nothing new to colleges and high schools. Yet, very little education takes place on campuses around this subject. Maybe it's the "not in my backyard" type of thinking, but we must all come to the realization that this does happen "everywhere." All we can do is prepare our children as well as possible for the mean, cruel world waiting for them. Helping them, talking to them so they may avoid those dangerous situations is key. Colleges need to do a better job of doing that as well.
  • danashudanashu Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Interested dad I usually think you are right on relative to your well researched postings. However I cannot disagree with you more relative to the rape editorial not being alarming. The editorial was well written but its substance was quite upsetting as to the statistics it was quoting and the obvious concern the editorial writer had for the topic as it applied to her campus. The fact that the topic is a national issue does not deminish the fact that so many Amherst students have friends who have been raped by a fellow student who they know.

    If this level of problem was as endemic at your child's school, Swarthmore I believe you would be truly concerned.

    As an attorney in Philadelphia I am happy to state that I am unaware that date rape is as significant a problem at Swarthmore although it does exist. Dana's dad
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Dana's Dad:

    I should have known better than to address a trivial issue (more professors) and a serious issue (date rape) in the same post. I'm afraid I did a poor job of communicating my concern.

    I am very concerned about the date rape issue. The only reason I wasn't "alarmed" by the Amherst article is that the same article could be, and should be, written at every campus (including Swarthmore, which has 5, 1, and 0 reported rape incidents in each of the last three years according to the IPEDS national crime reporting system). Date rape is a very serious an issue.

    Probably a better choice of phrase would be to say that the editorial did not surprise me. There is no doubt in my mind that date rape and binge drinking are inextricably linked -- probably in a directly proportional relationship. The statistics certainly suggest that to be this case:

    In his monograph on summarizing the results of the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Surveys, Dr. Weschler has this to say:
    Heavy alcohol use, coupled with inexperience with drinking, puts young women in serious jeopardy for sexual assault. About 10 percent of female students who are frequent binge drinkers report being raped or subjected to nonconsensual sex, compared to only 3 percent of non bingeing female students. Furthermore, most campus rapes occur after heavy drinking.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/monograph_2000/cas_mono_2000.pdf

    An analysis of college rape based on the CAS data states that:
    The present study indicates that 1 in 20 college women experienced rape since the beginning of the school year. Moreover, 72% of these rapes occurred when victims were so intoxicated that they were unable to consent. Certain women are at increased risk of being raped while intoxicated, particularly those who attend colleges with higher levels of heavy episodic drinking and who belong to or live in sororities.
    .

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/rapeintox/037-Mohler-Kuo.sep1.pdf

    IMO, the heavy epidsodic (or binge) drinking issue and the date rape issue are inseparable. If you are concerned about one, you have to be concerned about the other. You can't logically have a "kids will be kids" or "all colleges are the same" attitude about high binge drinking rates and then express concern about date rape.

    Things that are important on the date rape issue are:

    1) reducing the binge drinking rates at colleges

    2) education, especially during orientation. Kids need to know that there are no winners, only losers, in date rape. Male students need to know that an intoxicated person cannot give legal consent. If there is any doubt that the person is giving consent and is capable of consent, the kid HAS to walk away -- not just because it's the right thing to do, but because he can end up doing jail time.

    3) 24/7 on-campus health care with nurses and counselors trained in handling date rape

    4) a designated female dean as the point person for date rape referrals.

    5) parents need to have frank discussions about the drinking and date rape issues, with their sons and their daughters. At one time, having a cad for a son might be mildly embarrassing, or perhaps even a source of pride in some circles. In this day age, the cad can end up behind bars.
  • danashudanashu Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    interested dad:
    Now that's the well- reasoned thoroughly researched reply I have come to admire and expect from you. I've got to tell you i am very curious what your profession is for a few reasons. First you are very erudite and obviously well read and a great researcher. Second, how the heck do you have the time to send out thousands of posts?

    I have become interested in this site because my D uses it to research colleges and get great strategy advice. I use it to get insider info and pass it on to friends and use it to help our family advise our D so she can make the best choices for herself.

    But you sir are omnipresent here. Are you the publisher of this site? You are the Yoda of CC. I'd loved my curiousity to be slaked by you giving up your insider info on what leads you to hang out here so much. Perhaps it is your unique donation to we first time pre -college parents and prospective students. Anyway you are an enjoyable read. Dana's dad
  • danashudanashu Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Evita; I would be interested to know what if any information you gleaned from your daughter when you saw her this weekend concerning the subject matter of this thread. I hope your D is doing well and enjoying Amherst. Dana"s dad.
  • jeffs08jeffs08 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Danashu and others--

    As an Amherst student, I'd like to take a brief moment to address both of your concerns.

    (1) the College administration is not only cooperating completely with investigating authorities, but it was the College that convinced the victim to press charges in the first place. Amherst fosters a community that is exceedingly mindful and respectful of healthy relationships, and hosts various events to this end, particularly during first-year orientation. Further, in my experience socially at the College, I can say firmly that this one incident does not reflect a larger cultural theme at all. In fact, I would argue that the incident is receiving such attention because of how incredibly unusual this sort of occurrence is here.

    (2) I read the Student's editorial concerning faculty shortages in disbelief. First semester of my first year I had a class of 15 students and another of 9 students. This semester I have one class of 16 students and another of 15 students. Full-time professors teach every single class at Amherst. The average class size is 15. To be sure, certain introductory classes such as Econ 11 and Psych 11 draw large crowds, but to say that there is a serious problem of non introductory classes being overcrowded is to misrepresent the situation. Small classes with full-time professors are Amherst's bread and butter. This strength is real and, I would argue, substantial in distinguishing Amherst from other colleges.
  • danashudanashu Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Jeff thanks to you and evita I have a restored enthusiasm about applying to Amherst next year. Evita's daughter sounds a lot like me and her mom sharing her insights has been helpful. Danashu
  • jeffs08jeffs08 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    glad to help; let me know if there are other questions/concerns.
  • egdurwoodegdurwood Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Hi guys. My name is Scout Durwood, and I authored the Student editorial about rape on campus.

    Rape and sexual assault are a huge problem at Amherst, but it is no worse here than it is at any other college or university, or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world. As a member of the Amherst community, I belive it is my duty to address problems which exist here, which is why I directed my comments towards the Amherst campus rather than to any other population.

    Amherst College goes to great lengths both to prevent rape and sexual assault as well as to deal with rape and sexual assault survivors. What's more, I did not intend to address the school's rape policy, but rather the student body's attitude towards rape and sexual assault.

    A group of students and I have come together as a result of this article for a project called Amherst Coming Clean to take steps towards eliminating (yes, eliminating. I do believe it is possible) rape on campus. If you have any questions about this issue, I encourage you to contact [email protected] or myself at [email protected].

    As parents it is important that you are concerned about how this issue will effect your children, but I assure you, these problems are neither unique to nor any more of a problem at Amherst than at any other institution. If anything, Amherst should be applauded for creating an environment in which students like myself feel that rape is a problem which we have the power to address, which we can takes steps towards eliminating. That in and of itself is pretty fantastic, if you ask me.
  • jeffs08jeffs08 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    I appreciate Scout's praise of the administration's efforts to combat rape and sexual assault and to positively influence the student body's attitudes with respect to both, and I admire her dedication to these causes as manifested by the editorial and the organizations in which she participates. But I have to say that I consider her claim that rape and sexual assault are a "huge problem" at Amherst to be dubious. Any rape or sexual assault is horrible. But to describe the situation as a "huge problem" is to indicate a pattern of events, or a widespread and disturbing attitude towards these issues among students. I am not sure that either of these exists. I may be wrong, but until some sort of evidence (statistics, student testimony, etc.) is produced, I think it is irresponsible and potentially hugely misleading to characterize this issue in such extreme terms. I encourage prospective students and their families to contact the College to ascertain facts surrounding this issue, and to contact additional Amherst students to solicit their opinions. Best of luck in the process.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    I would disagree with Scout on in one way. I understand her point that rape and sexual assault is a widespread issue on college campuses and would not single out Amherst as being an exception.

    However, rape and sexual assualt are so correlated with heavy drinking on a campus that it is not correct to say that all campuses are the same. Nearly all college rape incidents involve heavy drinking by one or both people. Show me a school with half the rate of heavy episodic drinking and I would guarantee that school has fewer incidents of rape and sexual assault.

    I think a more accurate statement would be that the incident of rape and assault is probably the same at Amherst as it is at other schools that have the same amount of heavy drinking.
  • danashudanashu Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    I would propose that at a vast majority of college campuses binge drinking and excessive drinking is the major health and conduct problem. Although I cannot comment about Swarthmore Interested dad, all of the Philadelphia area schools have this issue. As a matter of fact a local Philly t.v. station ran a special story on local college binge drinking problems and how that correlates to an increasing sexual assault and rape problem.

    I commend Scout for being a force for change and a vocal advocate on the Amherst campus. I believe that national studies would show that less than 50% of all sexual assaults are reported to authorities in general so I wouldn't be surprised if many of any college's rape statistics are skewed lower than the actual number.

    What can be said for Amherst is an amazing recognition of the problem administratively. A refusal to bury the issue. As well as a group of student advocates who will not let the issue be ignored.

    Scout, I would be interested to know if you were urged by anyone to enter this thread because of a concern that it was unduly placing your college in a light deemed unfavorable and ill-informed. Keep up the good work on behalf of your school community. Dana's dad
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    I agree Dana's dad. I was simply pointing out that what Scout said was not completely correct. Based on the correlation between heavy episodic drinking and sexual assault/rape, I would expect Amherst to have less of a problem than schools with more heavy drinking and more of a problem than schools with less heavy drinking.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/rapeintox/037-Mohler-Kuo.sep1.pdf
    Rape is more common on college campuses with higher rates of binge drinking – and alcohol use is a central factor in most college rapes, finds a new study released today.

    Overall, one in 20 (4.7 percent) women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year – a period of approximately 7 months – and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse. These were among the findings of a study of 119 schools nationwide, by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Arizona, published in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.

    Most significantly, women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had more than a 1.5-fold increased chance of being raped while intoxicated than those from schools with low binge- drinking rates.

    The study found that the following percentages of rape for each of three categories of women surveyed depending on the number of times each woman had engaged in "heavy episodic drinking (4 drinks in one sitting) in two weeks to the survey:

    None (in the last 2 weeks): 1.3% had been raped

    Ocassional (once or twice in the last 2 weeks): 4.2% had been raped

    Frequent (3 or more times in last 2 weeks): 9.2% had been raped.

    BTW, I think these statistics have serious implications for both male and female students.
  • sweetraspberry99sweetraspberry99 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    I love parents who think their kids never drink...ignorance is bliss I guess?
This discussion has been closed.