You can prevent sexual assault

“She seems to not like the way that he is touching her, but aren’t they just dancing?”

“She does not like him, so why have they been in the room alone together for so long?”

“She’s too drunk to stand up, so why are her friends letting that guy take her home?”

“It’s not my business.”

That is what we tell ourselves when we know something is wrong but don’t feel comfortable getting involved. We don’t feel comfortable because doing so could be embarrassing, so we shrug it off and hope everything is OK.

But the situations above aren’t OK; they are warning signs of acquaintance rape, the most common kind of sexual assault. Chances are, if someone you know is going to be hurt by sexual violence, it will be by someone both of you know, and there will be warnings.

This means you have an opportunity to stop the violence before it happens. Take a moment to find that friend who disappeared in the company of the person she’s not into. If she’s drunk, don’t let her go home with someone who is looking to hook up. If someone is being inappropriate with her, speak up.

It’s easy to think about sexual assault as something that only happens to other people — people who are unlucky or make bad decisions. But no decision is an excuse for rape. Sexual assault is not the rare yet inevitable by-product of alcohol and hormones. It is the result of one person feeling entitled to hurt someone and no one else telling him he’s wrong. You can be that person. You can take your chance to stand up for someone today.

On a college campus, one in five women will experience a rape during her education. The best protection students have against it is not our RAs, or the police or the county prosecutor. It’s our friends and the people we love. Look out for each other.

To speak to someone about sexual assault, you can call the Middle Way House Crisis Hotline at (812) 336-0846 or IU’s Sexual Assault Counseling Service at (812) 855-8900. Callers may remain anonymous, and counselors are available 24/7.

Caleb Baker
Middle Way House employee

Media misrepresent Tea Party

As a participant in the April 15 Tea Party, I was very disappointed in the IDS coverage I read on Friday (“Tax day tea date,” April 16). I took issue with two major points.

First, despite the overwhelming majority of the crowd identifying as conservative, the only people quoted in your article were libertarians and democratic socialists. I understand that one of the goals of the IDS is to “localize” stories by tying them back to the campus, and that means quoting IU students. However, I know there were several young, conservative IU students at the rally who appear to have been ignored.

Second, the article defined the Tea Party movement as solely anti-tax. That characterization was then used to belittle the movement when the article stated that taxes decreased under the Obama administration. The article ignored taxes on businesses (which stick it to consumers through increased prices as much as any individual tax) and increases in taxes that are sure to come from record spending and new entitlement programs such as Obamacare. Just because Washington is playing a shell game doesn’t mean taxpayers won’t pay the price. The selective presentation of evidence by the IDS only serves to characterize our movement as ignorant or angry because of our president’s skin color.

Also, note that the Tea Party movement began as a result of the massive bailouts following the housing collapse; at its core, it’s an anti-big government, anti-spending movement, of which tax concerns are only a small part. These values are why the movement invokes the history of the Boston Tea Party, which wasn’t about taxes but about a government that failed to remain beholden to its citizens. The Tea Party movement seeks to restore the accountability and constitutionality of a government that has grown large and unsustainable beyond its enumerated powers. This might have been gleaned if the IDS reporters had looked around and realized that not all of the protestors’ signs were about taxes.

Next time, I hope the IDS digs a little deeper with its reporting instead of presenting a two-dimensional portrayal that parrots White House talking points.

Tommy Grooms
IU freshman

Legal capacity over demographics

I’m a little disheartened to see your editorial board has only taken note of the obvious in its appraisal of Justice Stevens’ pending retirement (“Bye bye to the bow tie guy,” April 16).

I’m more than a little disheartened by the seeming lack of analysis the board has utilized in suggesting possible replacements.

For starters, while I agree that Protestants, atheists and the gay and lesbian community ought to be granted greater representation in our nation’s discourse, an appointment to the Supreme Court should not be based on such concerns.

The Supreme Court is charged with the defense of our Constitution and the interpretation of our nation’s laws.

Given these responsibilities, President Obama ought to appoint an individual who has the legal capacity to fulfill these duties. If that appointee so happens to fill one of the aforementioned voids, that’s great, but an individual should not be appointed simply because he does fill that void (as your editorial seems to suggest).

Also, the board notes the possibility of choosing a senator to replace Stevens. It fails to mention, however, the potential ramifications of such an appointment. The very design of the Supreme Court works to ensure that partisan politics do not hold sway as they do in the White House or in Congress.

By appointing a senator as a matter of political expediency, President Obama would jeopardize the independence of the Court from political tempests. There are, of course, arguments to the contrary, and I respect them.

The editorial, however, does not even address the critical issues in appointing a justice to the Supreme Court — it simply lists the possibilities sans context or meaningful analysis.

Jerrick Adams
IU junior

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