Safety concerns

I have just read some negative reviews of Dickinson on the students review website and it is quite frightening.

I’d like to quote it here:

“Dickinson actively covers up victims of rape and violent crime. I have personally witnessed in my three years the transfer of multiple young women who were sexually assaulted and forced to leave because the institution not only did nothing to persecute the criminals, but also told these young women to shut up. I know of innocent people living with broken bones and the trauma of violent sexual assault, forced to go elsewhere because they found no justice in this ridiculous institution.”

It was posted on Dec 6th 2016, which is really recent.

There have also been complaints on the hostility between Carlisle residents and Dickinson students.

Because I have been accepted ED to the school this year, I got really worried and confused since safety is among my greatest concerns. (what’s more, these complaints were posted after I had applied my ED so I couldn’t consider them…)

Everyone, please give me your opinion and experience on this.

Thank you so much!

My opinion is that online reviews are not particularly trustworthy, and in general you can only believe about a quarter of what you hear. Secondly, if the accusations are indeed true, then I’d say Dickinson is in excellent company, unfortunately. You’d be hard pressed to find one well-known university that has not been recently accused of sweeping sexual assaults under the rug in some way or other. Just search right here on College Confidential and you’ll find long threads on top schools like Columbia and Stanford. Both of my older kids attended tippy top schools in the rankings and both of their colleges had their share of these alleged scandals. In one case, my D actually had roomed with a girl who made some serious charges against the university, and let’s just say her claims were questionable based on what my D knew of the girl and her well-documented psychological troubles. D herself never, ever felt unsafe on her campus. Third, it sounds like the person writing that review should have testified to the police about what she knew and saw. Did she? If there were really broken bones etc., then there should have been plenty of evidence to aid in a conviction and the ER would have had to ask questions about what happened. So, I have serious doubts about that story too.

Just don’t get black out drunk, and that alone will improve your safety on ANY campus a thousand-fold.

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That student review website is terrible, IMO. I have read many questionable reviews there that seem to be planted there by disgruntled people. There’s a word for these inflammatory posters but if I use it here, it will get blocked out.

I have found Niche to be more helpful and more balanced.

There was a student protest at Dickinson in 2011 to make the sexual harassment & assault policy more substantial and as a result, students were involved in redrafting the policy. A quick google search has not turned up independent confirmation of the story you quoted above.

As @TheGFG has remarked, sexual assault is a problem that has been reported on all kinds of college campuses, including Ivies, large public universities, religious schools, and LACs. The overwhelming majority of such cases involve excess alcohol consumption. Don’t drink to excess, use a buddy system and your common sense when you attend parties, and chances are you will be fine.

Statistically, freshman women in their first semester at college are the most vulnerable.

Here is the current policy of the college.

My kid was in the committee that helped redraft the policy.

As a current senior at Dickinson, I cannot say I’ve experienced or heard of anything similar to the review you found. As part of my on campus job in Student Life, I’m a mandated reporter for any possible violations of Title IX (which includes sexual assault and misconduct). I’ve reported instances of possible sexual misconduct and have been satisfied with the outcome and care shown to victims. Given the student protest in 2011 that garnered national media attention, the community is sensitive to Title IX issues. Students, faculty, and staff are not afraid to speak out when they believe something has not been adjudicated properly. Dickinson is not perfect when it comes to these issues, but I can confidently say that there are sound structures in place to both prevent and adjudicate instances of sexual misconduct.

Dickinson has a racism issue. During this past Halloween weekend, a first-year member of the men’s lacrosse team, a white male, dressed up as Colin Kaepernick with a blackface, an Afro wig, and kneeling. Another member of the team, another white male student, was pictured holding a gun to the head of the student dressed as up Kaepernick.

Many students, especially those of color, were outraged. The school’s only response so far was that it was a form of free speech and that the administration was only going look into the gun because guns, toy or real, are prohibited on campus. In a public statement, the school encouraged students to engage in constructive conversations.

As many students saw it, the school administration failed to provide a forceful response. They failed by not calling racism as it is.

There were student-held “discussions” on campus with high attendance. There was a small-scale protest. The lacrosse team insisted to defend its players, calling them nice boys or whatsoever.

So far we have heard nothing from the coach or our new president, who is supposedly dealing with family emergency. It has been two days. People are livid and scared.

The event was consistent with the apathetic culture on this predominantly white, privileged campus. Think hard about the environment that you or your child is about to step into before applying.

Hardly “systemic”
Racism is everywhere and Dickinson is addressing this head on. One good thing about the current political climate is that racism, sexual harrasment, and homophobia are being talked about. So encourage education to end racism, stop talking badly about Dickinson. This kind of dumb racist behavior happens everywhere, he just got caught. Maybe if he’s lucky he’ll get a real education now.