To the Editor, I feel compelled to write in response to the op-ed article in The Chronicle last week ‘Stopping sexual assault: be an active bystander’. The author had the courage to share her recent experience of being grabbed from behind at a party and the way it made her feel like an object to be disrespected. The violation was witnessed by nearby male students who thought that the event was entertaining. As a male member of the Hofstra community, I also feel disrespected and saddened by this event and by the students who could not find the courage or values to openly denounce what had occurred. Many of us are aware of statistics indicating that sexual violence is a pervasive problem in our culture. The article published last week, reminds us that each statistic has a story associated with people we may know and care about. People we may attend class with and study with. People in the space we define as our campus community. Fortunately, the event described in the Chronicle does not characterize the dominant spirit of our campus . The student organization Be Kind-Step Up is a thriving group of individuals on our campus who volunteer their time to spread positive encouragement and better educate members of our student community about bystander intervention. The goal of the organization is to educate students so they will make positive and informed decisions individually, but also to help students look out for one another and to create a safer, healthier and more caring environment. Working together to build a caring campus environment, with respect for the wellbeing of everyone, is the responsibility of each member of the Hofstra community.
Daniel Rinaldi, Psy.D. Student Counseling Services