Natalie Kfoury – Editor-in-Chief
I woke up the morning of October 20 exhausted, not looking forward to starting another long Monday. As I do each morning, I checked my email, just in case a class had been canceled or some very important email had come in the dead of the night. This time, one came.
I read the email from Vice President of Student Affairs Diane Austin with dread. Immediately I felt sick to my stomach as I thought of an assault happening on our cam-pus, at a place that so many think as safe. I thought of the fear the victim must have gone through and the courage it took her, him, or whoever knew about the atrocious act to come forward and say something.
This is my fourth and final year at Lasell and I have always felt safe here. I walk back and forth across campus throughout the day and night and have never thought of it being dangerous. Yet, this is another example of how you can never be too safe, even on this small, quiet campus in the middle of the safe city of Newton.
I would like to thank Lasell for coming forth with the information as fast as they did. However, when I reviewed the annual Fire and Safety report sent out by Campus Police, I noticed there were four forced sexual assaults in the 2013-2014 school year that students were not informed about. Knowledge of incidents, whether alleged or not, help prevent future assaults. Members of the community deserve to know when these horrendous acts happen so the community can have an open dialogue and safety can be promoted.
Lasell needs to have conversations about this, as we saw with the Uganda trip decision. Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community need to come together multiple times to address this problem and figure out how we can get through this.
Prospective and new students should not be scared of this school and its campus. While Lasell did the right thing by releasing the information and providing suggestions to keep students safe, other area schools have recently received harsh criticism when they did not release the information either at all or in a timely matter.
Of course, it is a shame that there was ever an assault to begin with. That is something that leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Why do these things happen? What drives someone to act on violent and/or sexual impulses against another’s will? In what way, shape, or form is taking advantage of someone ever okay? These are questions that have been running through my head and the heads of many others surrounding this campus.
It is up to us, Lasell community members, to start making this a better, safer place for all. It is time for us to make this campus a place without the hate that I wrote about in the last issue and the violence that I unfortunately have to write about this time around.
People need to learn to be better to each other, to be decent human beings who act without violent, hateful impulses. Even if the perpetrator was not a Lasell student, these talks would benefit the community as a whole and show how Lasell continues to grow and improve. I have faith in this school and its people to make the improvements and have the discussions that, at this point, are necessary.