When I got last week’s The Rocket (April 19, 2013), I was pleased initially to see a front-page photo focusing on the Take Back the Night rally and march which took place on April 17. At a time when one in five female university students are statistically going to be sexually assaulted, and when 3% of rape victims are men (and most male victims of rape are victimized before they turn 20), this event is important and educational. I know that many who participated were moved to sadness, anger, and action. For many, for whom this was the first rally and march in which they have participated, the experience was empowering, and the speakers and survivors of rape and sexual assault embodied strength and vision.
Sadly, your readers will not know any of that, since you did not in fact include an article about Take Back the Night. Instead, you included one large photo of a survivor with no follow-up. This arguably exploits the speaker in the photo; certainly, it fails to do justice to this issue. It is ironic, to say the least, that you found front-page room to cover (with an actual story, and not just an image) an event centered on a Pro-Life event and the use of Taskstream for portfolios but failed to address the very reality of sexual assault and interpersonal violence which touch the lives of everyone at SRU. I hope that in future, you will join the campus and community conversation about how we might really “take back the night” and do what most of us want to do at SRU: make our campus a safe place for everyone.
Dr. Cindy LaCom
Director Women’s Studies Program