Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 03, 2014 5:00 AM

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Republicans should join fight against sexual assault

Recently, a representative of the University of Iowa College Republicans wrote a letter to the editor concerning University of Iowa President Sally Mason and her recent comments, saying she “gives perpetrators a free pass” and the university feels complacent about sexual assaults. While the facts they cite are real, Keith Evanson distracts from the issue by highlighting Mason as the problem. Instead of accepting her apology and working toward solutions, the College Republicans just want to point fingers.

The University of Iowa Democrats, a function of the larger state and by extension national Democratic Party, support working toward implementable solutions with a variety of stakeholders to combat this pervasive and appalling issue. Many UDems attended Mason’s listening forum and came away committed to reforming the university’s online resources, residence-hall education, and first-year Orientation programs that deal with sexual assault.

We further believe that we must collaborate with numerous groups: the Office of the Dean of Students, RVAP, WRAC, law enforcement, the judicial system, and others in order to achieve real reform.

As politically minded and activism-inclined students, the University Democrats and College Republicans can come together to lobby our legislators and candidates to better fund sexual-assault prevention initiatives and victim-services programs more. We must convey to elected officials at all levels the necessity of increased financial and policy support.

You’re right, College Republicans: Actions do speak louder than words. So show that you’re serious on this issue, and join us in the fight against sexual assault.

Carter Bell
University Democrats president

In the United States of America, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Some people are demanding “zero tolerance” for alleged perpetrators of sexual violence. This would assume guilt, not innocence. This would allow people to claim “rape,” resulting in immediate and unfair judgment. Perhaps the alleged victim is ashamed for consensual activities, or mad and wants to exact revenge. The alleged perpetrator’s reputation would be ruined, while the alleged victim sees no repercussion. The term “slippery slope” comes to mind. Why not have zero-tolerance for those who accuse as well as the accused? That would be the only fair way of doing things, but of course, doing either of those would break the law. So let’s stop bringing up an unreasonable solution to a problem. We can do better than to let emotions cloud rational thinking.

Nathan Fisher

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