Recently, UMass announced they were cutting ties with Bill Cosby, after a series of rape allegations came forward from numerous women. Cosby served as the honorary co-chair of UMass Amherst’s capital campaign, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the university. While I’m proud of the university for making this decision, I can’t help but find it a little ironic that by doing so UMass is painting a picture of being a proactive campus against rape culture, when in actuality it is a huge problem that there is simply not enough being done about.
In an article published by The Wire, UMass is listed as one of 55 schools listed as allegedly mishandling rape cases. http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/05/here-are-the-55-colleges-being-investigated-for-allegedly-mishandling-rape-cases/361517/
Most of us probably remember the gang rape that occurred in a campus residence hall in 2012. Ultimately this was contributed to a lack of security. This came just two years after an article was published in The Daily Collegian, detailing a student who was only given a deferred suspension, even after admitting to the rape. While campus officials admitted they had made a mistake in that repercussion, several other women came forward after and admitted the university had handled their situation in similar fashion. I find it sad that now under the spotlight the university is trying to take hold of the sexual assault problem when it has been a problem all along.
I can not even tell you how many times I have had my female friends walk home alone late at night because the busses have stopped running. And did you know that a lot of the “safe phones” don’t even work? It is little details like this UMass could definitely think more about. Of course, there is a lot more to be done. I’m glad that Campus officials have realized what a dire situation it is and that cutting ties with an alumni who perpetuates such acts, regardless of how notable he is, is imperative.
You can read more about the university cutting ties with Bill Cosby here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/27/showbiz/bill-cosby-umass-amherst/