Letter to the Editor: SLU needs to recognize the true victims and the true perpetrators

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Like many of you, when I heard of the sexual assault last spring I was saddened, shocked, and deeply angered. But I have never been more disappointed by my peers at Saint Louis University then in the recent response to the two basketball players being taken off the team.

We, as a community, are more concerned with the fate of the basketball team then the life of the victim of the assault.

We are quick to doubt her story, to accept the rumors, and to judge her choices.  We blame her for losing the season.

Where was the story in The University News about how to prevent sexual assault from happening on campus? Where was the statistic that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime? Where was the judgment of the assaulters’ choice that night? Where was the article about how courageous she was for telling her story and how sad we are to lose her at SLU?  She may not have brought crowds to Chaifetz, but her voice on campus was important and ought to be valued.

If and when another person is sexually assaulted on campus – and it is likely to happen – we are telling the victim that their story doesn’t matter.  We won’t listen. Maybe they won’t report the incident at all.

I understand the legality of printing details about the victim.  But in the response to “Free Willy” signs in the quad, Facebook statuses lamenting the Billkens’ doomed season, and nothing on the justice that was served, I had to speak up.

How we responded to this incident is not unlike how society at-large responds to sexual assault.  I urge my SLU community to break this cycle, to reconsider who we value at SLU, and to truly be men and women for others.

-Stacy Vojta is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.