By: Maria Casalino
Hearts are destroyed and reputations are ruined everyday on college campuses throughout the United States. At worst, lives are lost. Who is inflicting this pain and suffering and how are they getting away with it? On Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5:00 p.m., Andrea Pino, UNC Chapel Hill alum, co-founder and activist of End Rape on Campus, and victim of sexual assault, visited Loyola University Maryland, to reveal through The Hunting Ground documentary that it is college students like us who are predators and victims of sexual assault; on various campuses throughout the United States.
Pino’s role in the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which preceded her talk, disclosed her personal travesty that occurred during her sophomore year of college by a “big-time” UNC football player. “It was hard to admit that UNC, my dream school, was flawed and now had a sexual assault issue,” Pino said numbly. But to her sophomore self’s dismay, she wasn’t the only victim, but rather one of thousands. In fact, according to the statistics relayed in the documentary, “Less than 8% of men in college commit more than 90% of sexual assaults and 88% of women sexually assaulted on campus do not report.” What do these statistics say about college campuses throughout the United States? What do they say about the societal population as a whole? These statistics prove that rape is a growing issue on all college campuses and predators are “getting away with murder,” so to speak; the murder of a victim’s dignity.
Despite the uniqueness of the victims’ stories, the series of events described are utterly similar, if not the same. Some of the most significant similarities include: sexual assaults occurring on campuses exceeding 10,000 students, the crimes involved alcohol, and most significantly, involved male athlete predators who were eerily defended by their athletic departments and university staff. Such universities included: Berkley College, University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill, Florida State University, and even Harvard University.
Although Loyola University Maryland has experienced its own sexual assaults, the number of victims and predators is fairly small compared to those named in the documentary. Still, approximately 40 students attended this SGA-promoted event, tears in their eyes and empathy in their hearts for those that shared their stories on “the big screen.” Through conversation, one student, Val Casola, ’17 stated that after watching the documentary and listening to Andrew Pino speak about her experience, “it was an eye-opening, necessary conversation.”
Interestingly enough, the audience was not only comprised of Loyola students like Val, but also included members of the Loyola faculty and members of the Baltimore community. Faith Savill, member of the House of Ruth Maryland stated that it was a “worthwhile and important topic to discuss and it was great that Loyola University is hosting this kind of event and encouraging dialogue around assault and victims’ rights.”
Sexual Assault is a growing issue on all college campuses throughout the country. What are we to do? “Any action is action,” Pino said. “You don’t even have to share a story to be active about rape. Teaching children about consent is one prime example of taking a stand.” How will you take action and spread awareness about sexual assault?
For more information about Andrew Pino, her civil rights movement entitled, End Rape on Campus, or about The Hunting Ground documentary, visit: http://thehuntinggroundfilm.com/the-facts/. To hear what other people are saying about Pino’s movement, visit: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/01/the-hunting-ground-annie-clark-andrea-pino.
Prior to her arrival, Loyola SGA promoted the event through flyers around campus and Social Media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Loyola SGA even took it as far as to host a table outside Boulder Garden Café and question students’ perspectives on consent and why it is personally important to them. Pictured right, three students reveal their answers on mini whiteboards.
Pictured right is the book, We Believe You, written by Andrea Pino and co-founder, Annie Clark. In it, the book tells stories of hundreds of sexual assault victims and how they use their tragic experiences to empower themselves and others.