Sexual assault on college campuses is so commonplace and so effectively hidden under a shroud of silence and institutional self-defense that the chances of any journalistic endeavor’s breaking through to our consciousness is slim. But 6 days ago those odds were overcome. An article in Rolling Stone Magazine effectively aroused substantial outrage. The alleged gang rape of a coed was so brutal that it is difficult to simply put down the magazine and have a substantial supper.
The administration at University of Virginia, the site of the alleged rape, has taken what for them probably seems a huge step in shutting down the fraternity system on campus until early-January while they investigate. They, of course, had no idea what happens at frat parties on their campus, just as the University of North Carolina was “shocked” to learn that hundreds of their athletes had over the course of many years received grades for courses they either did not attend or in which they submitted no work.
The alleged rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house was so outrageous, the university administration’s attitude toward such incidents is so tepid and so cynically predictable, and the student sub-culture on numerous campuses is so generally and willfully blind to the devastating effects of such behavior on victims that even the most jaded of us are disgusted and disappointed afresh.
See my post tomorrow at www.celebratequestions.com where I will try to think about the larger context of general institutional blindness to internal disease.