For the nearly two years I have lived here in Oxford, I have heard of sexual assault cases happening on university property, two of which have occurred within the last month. Not to mention the possibly countless assaults that occur and go unreported, specifically the ones that occur on game days.
This is unsettling, to say the least, but what is even more unnerving is that these crimes are not being addressed by the public. I have heard no statements from the university about these horrific incidents and only a few remarks from students.
My question is: How do we just let this slip by us and show no concern? How can we live in a world where things like this “just happen?”
More action has been done about a derogative post on Facebook concerning something happening in another state than it has for actual physical abductions and assaults on this campus. I agree that the statements made by Jordan Samson was a deserving topic, but shouldn’t two sexual assaults occurring a week apart from each other be a bit more important?
As a woman traveling back and forth through town at all hours, I want to be sure that my area is truly safe, but I do not feel safe. I do not feel safe because the university has yet to actually address these crimes or the fact that no arrests have been made in regards to them.
Also, the “anything goes” mentality that people have on game days is not safe. When someone gets drunk, that does not mean he or she should be able to touch people without their permission, and it definitely does not mean that bystanders should look the other way when it’s happening. Saying “Oh, they’re drunk” should not be an excuse for not intervening.
So, I propose that a few things happen very soon. First, the university needs to issue an address to the assaults (Better late than never, right?). Next, even more police officers and/or security guards should be posted on campus. Finally— and most importantly— we, the community, need to start caring and showing more concern for one another.
You know the saying “It takes a village… ”? Keeping our streets and our citizens safe is a group effort; it takes a village working as one whole entity to stay safe.
I do not want to be the next victim. Do you?
Mikala Turner is a sophomore social work major from Bruce.