Davidson Students Hold "Safe Walk"

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by Will Kennedy
Bio | Email | Follow: @willkennedynews

DAVIDSON, NC -- A march across campus and an on-line petition, both aimed at showing support for victims of sexual violence at Davidson College.

This on the heels of a White House report that says one in every five women is sexually assaulted while in college. 

"I have been very underwhelmed with the sanctions put in place. And I think that we need to be more severe," says Davidson student Susanna Vogel.
 
Vogel is telling her story, going public with an on-line essay detailing her on-campus sexual assault last semester. She says her attacker wasn't even suspended. Vogel was joined by more than 200 other students, who all want to see sex assaults punished more severely by the college.
 
"For egregious violations of our honor code like cheating or plagiarism, students are suspended for a semester," says Vogel. "And the fact that we can't do the same for students that are committing egregious acts of sexual misconduct is very unsettling to me."
 
The goal is to engage more students in trying to change attitudes and behaviors when it comes to confronting rape and sexual violence. That means bringing both sexes together for the conversation, and making sure men are educated on the issue too.
 
"If you're just communicating to the women, I mean, you can't go out and expect to change anything by telling women to just be careful, and just go take care of themselves," says junior Robert Hagerty. "That's not addressing the problem."
 
The students are working with the Davidson administration to try to improve the college's sexual misconduct policy, hoping to better protect victims and streamline the trial process.
 
But this close campus is pulling together in what they call a spirit of support, rather than protest. 
"It's very important to reiterate, the administration is very supportive and receptive to proposed changes," says Davidson student Jordan Luebkemann. "They are not the bad guys."
 
The Davidson College administration says they plan to review the sexual misconduct policy this summer, taking into account student input and recommendations from the White House.

 

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