Danielle Rasouli is a junior journalism major and writes "Dig in with Dani" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Oh, it was probably a frat boy.”
This is a common reaction across many college campuses within our nation’s borders when we hear about a new case of sexual assault. We point fingers at these “frat boys” for every single sexual assault case that happens at our respective universities. Whether the act was committed by someone not apart of Greek Life or someone who is not even a student at the college, sexual assault somehow always gets traced back to fraternity men.
Why are we being so harsh towards an entire group of people when we have no idea of who was actually involved in the case? Blaming fraternity men is not efficient and will get us nowhere in our quest of stopping sexual assault on college campuses.
It is also offensive to victims of these assault cases by focusing on the wrong side of the issue. We are always worried about who was involved rather than why this happened, and what we can do to stop it. The issues that come with sexual assault are far too big to be playing a finger pointing game.
Just like anything else, each person has their own reason for why they want to join a fraternity. Many of them are putting a genuine effort in building their resumes and see an importance in getting involved on campus. They also view Greek life as a great opportunity to meet people. When we point fingers to fraternity men being the suspects of a sexual assault case, those career-focused men are caught in the midst of a problem they have no relation to.
I am not saying that fraternity men have never committed sexual assault. I am sorry to inform that I do not know the past of every single male associated with Greek Life here at Ball State. So I cannot speak on that. However, what I can say is that people focus more on extending their hatred to fraternity men for committing these horrendous acts instead of extending their support for the victims of sexual assault.
To blame one group of people for such a horrific action is desensitizing and inhumane and draws attention away from the specific individuals committing these wrongful doings. It is similar to assuming a Muslim was the one who perpetuated a mass killing before being given further information from the media.
I notice a lot of hypocrisy taking place as well, where the people who are blaming fraternity guys for sexual assaults are the same ones preaching equality and putting an end to racism and discrimination. Racism, discrimination and sexual assault blaming all stem from the same concept; having hatred for a specific group of people, no matter what the reason may be.
Not only that, but the fact that we always assume that a man was the one who assaulted the woman is a misconception as well. Sure, the statistics may have a significant difference between men and women. But that does not completely take away the fact that men are the victims of sexual assault as well. According to the Rape, Assault and Incest National Network, approximately 10 percent of sexual assault survivors are men.
It is important to keep that in mind and be sympathetic of males who suffered from the trauma that comes with sexual assault.
According to Ball State’s enrollment in the fall of 2016, this campus was home to more than 21,000 students, with 8,258 of those students being male. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 men are associated with fraternities.
If we do the math here, approximately 1/8 of Ball State’s male population are somehow the sole blame for sexual assault based on a stereotype. It is not rocket science to know that the attacker could have been any one of those 21,000-plus students, so why are we pinning it on fraternity men? Why are we wasting our time and associating them with an issue as complex as sexual assault?
My point is, there are many different contexts in which a sexual assault can happen on a college campus. It is an unfortunate and discomforting thought, but it is a realistic one.
Until further information is released, put your fingers down and focus more on extending your support for the victims and helping end this problem on our campus.