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paarent's concern

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Replies to: paarent's concern

  • danashudanashu 133 replies21 threads 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.
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  • jeffs08jeffs08 21 replies0 threads 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.
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  • danashudanashu 133 replies21 threads 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
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  • jeffs08jeffs08 21 replies0 threads New Member
    glad to help; let me know if there are other questions/concerns.
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  • egdurwoodegdurwood 2 replies0 threads 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.
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  • jeffs08jeffs08 21 replies0 threads 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.
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  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads 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.
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  • danashudanashu 133 replies21 threads 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
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  • interesteddadinteresteddad 23879 replies298 threads 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.
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  • sweetraspberry99sweetraspberry99 82 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I love parents who think their kids never drink...ignorance is bliss I guess?
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  • allureNY86allureNY86 652 replies17 threads Member
    Going back to the classes and staffing...

    Who said non-introductory courses are big? I'm taking Psych 21, an upper-level class that has less than 20 people. The only class I signed up for but didn't get into was Advanced Spanish Composition, since it was capped at 15 students.
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  • clayvesselclayvessel 71 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you, Scout for your response in this thread and for your work on date rape.

    Its nice to know that Amherst has created an environment of intellectual honesty and open debate regarding difficult issues such as date rape-- (I started to get a bit concerned about the possibility of my daughter actually getting in to Amherst on reading the date rape info...)

    I agree with those here who make the astute point that date rape is vastly influenced by a pervasive culture of binge drinking.

    Rape involves control of sexual impulse which is greatly diminished in binge drinkers. (Those who drink more than 4 drinks in one sitting)

    While I don't want to blame the rape victims-- it is very important for girls (and boys)to understand that getting "****ed" drunk routinely does have potentially fatal consequences which seem to appear out of nowhere, but are a DIRECT RESULT of binge drinking.

    Here are some effects of the culture of binge drinking that are entirely preventable:

    -A student can fall asleep in a snow drift at 5 degrees and freeze to death after an innnocent night of drinking. (My husband almost froze to death after college binge drinking -- luckily he woke up after his toes and fingers had lost feeling....)

    -Students often lose accurate judgment after four drinks: they feel "OK" to drive or to have unprotected sex, with the possibility of death in an accident or from an STD -- all totally preventable...

    -Drunk people tend to slip and fall down stairs or on ice with potentially fatal consequences, again, completely preventable.

    -Binge drinking can lead to death in and of itself-- a preventable tragedy.

    -Alcohol separates people socially (after the third drink... conversation declines and aggression usually increases...again, preventable...)

    -When a girl is a binge drinker, she leaves herself open to sexual predation, plain and simple-- and in large part preventable. This is not an excuse for the rapist (who is probably also imparied in his ability to control his desire and impulses and is thereby putting his own future at risk...), but is simply common sense for girls who wish to maximize ther chances of avoiding rape. Actions involving alcohol use have consequences to health and safety. Students don't want to accept the idea of "cause and effect" because alcohol is mild and enjoyable for 70% of the population, while 30% have major genetic problems controlling alcohol use...

    The upshot? Discourage a widespread culture of binge drinking on campus, educate about the consequences, and always provide a non-drunk ("safe rides" type observer at drinking parties.. ) Have an occasional alcohol-free "drunk on people" party where the night's objective is to get and give joy/happiness/fun out of interacting with other non-drunk people.... It's actually addicting and results in more interesting conversations....and has few adverse consequences....

    Why do I rant? I lost two very wonderful, highly intelligent aunts to binge drinking at a young age. Their deaths were ENTIRELY preventable, and they'd be here celebrating Christmas with me this year if it had not been for excessive alcohol use....
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  • egdurwoodegdurwood 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Nope. A friend mentioned this forum to me and I thought I would check it out. Admissions didn't point me in this direction at all, but thanks for your concern.
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  • goldsgymgoldsgym 3 replies0 threads New Member
    There's drinking at college no matter where you go. I went to hampshire and it was prevalent. I think you can't sheild your kids from alchohol, best thing to do is to teach them how to moderate. A good lesson in moderation will help them avoid certain parties at school, but more importantly when they graduate and enter the real world!
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