Within the first week of moving onto SUU’s campus, it seemed that my Resident Assistant was constantly at my door. He would knock to tell us about that week’s events, which was normal. Then, as the weeks progressed, he would knock to talk to my roommates and me about our classes or our lives in general. If I was in the living room when the door was answered, he would interrupt my studying and try to pick up a conversation.
Eventually, we stopped answering the door when he knocked because we didn’t have time to talk to him, nor did we want to.
Assigning a male RA to an apartment of girls leaves them more susceptible to harassment and assault.
The RAs have keys to all the apartment doors, which allows them unneeded access to anyone’s living space. Even though they don’t have keys to the bedrooms, the living room provides them with enough access to the apartment. An RA could knock on a bedroom door and the girls inside could not know it was him. This means they could answer the door in pajamas or a sports bra because they’re not aware of whose knocking.
One in four women will be the victim of sexual assault during their time in college (Sofi Sinozich, Lynn Langton, 2015). Eighty percent of those victims knew their attacker before the assault took place (Sofi Sinozich, Lynn Langton, 2015). In a perfect world, having male RA’s in charge of female’s rooms wouldn’t be a problem. However, we live in a culture where the #metoo movement needs to take place so that people will understand how common sexual assault is among women.
We need to take these precautions to help keep women safe on college campuses.
Madison Stauffer, SUU Student