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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Sexual Assault and Alcohol:

Sexual+Assault+and+Alcohol%3A

By: Sheridan Kate Murray, Co-Editor in Chief

 

Dear Sheridan Kate,

I’m a female student at Wofford that consistently finds myself in uncomfortable situations while at the Greek Village on weekends. As someone who chooses to actively engage in the social scene on campus, I am fully aware of the risks that come with placing myself in an environment where alcohol is involved. However, I sometimes feel as though certain members of our campus utilize alcohol as a means to make girls feel uncomfortable or uneasy. Several of my friends share this sentiment, and we are unsure how to continue enjoying our nights out without encountering males who relentlessly approach us while drunk. How can we have fun and stay safe at the Greek Village?

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Signed, Socially Stressed

 

 

Dear Socially Stressed,

Let me begin by saying that in my opinion, your instincts are completely appropriate. In the United States, approximately 19% of women will be sexually assaulted during their time at college. While Wofford’s small campus makes many feel safer than they would at a larger institution, concerns about sexual harassment are valid especially in environments where alcohol is involved.

This issue is something that my parents discussed with me even before I came to college. They instilled in me a few really great tips that while obviously won’t guarantee that you aren’t harassed at a party, may make you feel a little better equipped to handle a potentially dangerous situation.

My biggest tip, for males and females, is to use the buddy system. Never go out alone, never leave a party alone, and make sure that you’ve got a friend who is there to ensure that you can escape potentially uncomfortable or dangerous scenarios. Make it clear to your friend that you don’t desire to leave a party or go home with anyone but them, and ask them to step in if they see you talking to someone you clearly don’t want to be engaging with.

When you’re at the Greek Village, be vigilant. I’m resentful of these words, as I feel that we spend too much time teaching women how not to be assaulted and not enough time teaching men not to assault. With that being said, there are things you must do to make sure that you’re arming yourself with your best defenses. Don’t take a drink from someone if you didn’t watch them pour it, even if it’s someone you really trust. If you leave a drink and walk away from it, it’s done. Do not pick it back up again, just get a new one. If you’re entering a darkened area of a house, keep a hand over your cup at all times. This could be a potential opportunity for someone to slip something in your drink.

Finally, a tip that’s helped me a lot at Wofford is getting close with a lot of the guys that are involved in Greek life on campus. Having friends helps a lot, especially ones that will keep an eye on you in social situations. Most of my guy friends are all a part of the same fraternity, and as a result I spend the lion’s share of my time in their house at the Village. They all know my name and my face, and are quick to step in if someone unsavory attempts to talk to me or if I’m engaging in an interaction that is making me uncomfortable. There truly is strength in numbers.

While this advice won’t help solve the issue of assault on campus altogether, it will likely allow you to feel safer while at the Greek Village. Take comfort in having your friends there to watch out for you, and stay vigilant to ensure that you’re doing all you can to stay safe.

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