The now-discredited University of Virginia rape story is not only an embarrassment for Rolling Stone magazine, but an embarrassment for the university itself. As in the Duke lacrosse saga, innocent lives have been damaged by the accusations of gang rape. The fraternity concerned at UVA was the object of violent demonstrations. The university administration was negligent in reporting the allegation to the police and generally made a mess of the whole issue.
In addition, the campus paper, The Daily Cavalier, is wiping mud off its face.
I tend to be gentle with student journalists, who are young people learning their craft. Yet, campus papers have tremendous influence on campuses in shaping public opinion as regards to campus issues.
In the current, below-linked issue, I picked out one of the reader comments:
"The Daily published one particularly important piece once the Rolling Stone story was falling apart and far-right conservatives used the revelations as an excuse to accuse Jackie of fabricating her entire experience. Emily Clark, Jackie’s suitemate freshman year, wrote an editorial stating that “Jackie’s story is not a hoax,” and she detailed the dark depression Jackie fell into after whatever happened to her that night in 2012. It was shared thousands of times on social media and cited by dozens of national news outlets."
There is a very dangerous trend going on in academia-not just UVA. Campus sexual assault is the hot-button issue. At the same time, the binge drinking factor is not being adequately addressed. Why? Because that would place some of the responsibility on women who drank to the point of being incapacitated or simply made a bad choice while intoxicated which they later regretted. That in no way excuses men from taking advantage of the situation. What it underlines is that a much smaller percentage of rapes involve a guy jumping out of the bushes or breaking down a dorm room door to forcibly attack a woman.
Any man who sexually assaults a woman or takes advantage of a woman who is less than sober is a despicable man. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes in our society. However, we must face the college issue honestly and not allow political correctness to force a rush to judgment or take the position that somehow it makes no difference as to the truth of the matter because the accusation (in this case, Jackie's) "raised awareness". The Duke and UVA cases prove that universities are not equipped to investigate rape allegations. rape is a crime and that should be left to the police. UVA sat on the allegations for over a year until the police were brought in. Yet, this same university and their clueless president, Teresa Sullivan, are patting themselves on the back and talking about how they are "leading".
This is the result of how UVA "leads".