To the Editor:
I am deeply offended by the recent editorial by Stephanie Ye entitled “Preventing Rape at the U of C.” This article displays a surprising lack of sensitivity on the part of the MAROON editorial staff and the University community to the disturbing problem of sexual assault and harassment on this campus.
Ye quotes the University Police Department’s crime statistics for the year 2001. While there may have been only six reported rapes and sexual assaults in 2001, anyone with any experience in law enforcement will tell you that the vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported. Furthermore, to state that “…these numbers aren’t something for U of C students to lose sleep over…” displays a disturbingly callous attitude toward sexual assaults. What, precisely, does meet Ye’s exacting standards for something to “lose sleep over”?
Furthermore, to claim that the University’s overly academic nature and “nerdish” reputation help prevent rape is utterly baseless. I suppose that the psychological state of University of Chicago males, namely a significant number of repressed, socially useless, and generally peculiar men running about, could be a significant factor in sexual assaults has not occurred to Ye. The University’s dropout statistics, along with other statistical indicators of the general psychological state of U of C students, are as good a place to look as UCPD crime statistics in seeking to understand sexual assault on our campus. Is it possible that overly pressured, sexually awkward (not to mention sexually oppressed) men, swamped by academic work and lacking the basis for interpersonal relations that most men and women learn in high school could be a significant part of the problem? It is a disturbingly natural tendency of MAROON commentators to lean upon the University’s oft-mentioned academic greatness when pressed about cracks in the greatness of the University of Chicago. Acedemic brilliance and intellectual inquest must not be used to whitewash troubling undercurrents ripping through the university community. Sixty-some odd Nobels are little consolation to the many victims, reported or not, of sexual assault on this campus.
Joshua L. Nachowitz
3rd Year in the College concentrating in Political Science