To the Editor:
As many of us recoil from the recent UVA sexual assault article in Rolling Stone, tremendous accusations are being thrown at the university and others like it across the country. While UVA is not innocent and its infamous privileged “party culture” is partly to blame, there are two clear pieces of the story that no one seems to be addressing.
One, in this country rape is treated as a female problem. From early ages, we tell our young girls to not walk alone at night or to be aware of men they do not know. Businesses have picked up on this, now girls can buy rape whistles or date rape nails all in the name of protection.
But those being critically left out of the sexual assault discussion are men. Very few (if any) public campaigns exist with men as the focus of rape. A surprising fact, considering men commit rape much more often than women. We must install a culture where rape is not tolerated nor accepted by men.
Two, now more than ever it is time to turn this country’s ridiculous drinking age back to 18. Because the drinking age is 21, the best place for underage university drinkers to get alcohol is an unregulated, unmonitored frat party. There is no alternative. If the drinking age were moved back, young people would have the option of attending a bar or club. While not perfectly safe either, it is significantly more so than a college party. The idea young people won’t drink because the legal age is 21 is ridiculous. Change it back.
These two ideas are among those being discussed, however they offer a different, fresh approach rather than a muddled, ineffective university one.