Moving Forward

She’s not a “buzzkill.” She’s not “un-cool.” She’s not too “serious.” Caroline said she has been called names, and told she “just has to drink more,” when she tries to intervene in situations involving alcohol; situations that she thinks could change a person’s life.

Caroline said it’s “impossible” for anyone to “let completely loose” when alcohol is present. In most cases, everyone has to keep their guard up, she said.

“People don’t want to ruin their friend’s fun,” she said. “But sometimes, that’s necessary. And they will, at some point, thank you for it, mostly likely. And if they don’t, they don’t.”

“You won’t lose a friend over that, but you could stop them from doing something that could change their life,” she added.

Situations that Caroline says change lives, whether alcohol is present or not, don’t seem to be going away—at least that’s what statistics show at Temple and across the country.

Solutions to the problem of sexual assault on college campuses need to be tailored to specific universities, as the culture of campus life is always different. Even trying to create one solution on a campus can be challenging, because no two instances of assault are identical. Universities, it seems, will not be able to develop a one size fits all model.

Olivia said her experience with sexual assault didn’t change the way she views sex, but education about consent needs to be more easily accessible. Between survivors and students we’ve spoken to, there’s a consensus that calls for more intentional conversations about sexual violence that are not just through a computer screen.

Some of Temple’s solutions to this problem have been short lived, like the president’s task force. Charging a committee to draft solutions just once to a problem that transcends gender, sexuality, year, race, major and intoxication in the span of one year isn’t enough.

Providing students with disjointed offices that should, and usually do, communicate make the process of reporting confusing for some, and unclear to many.

Some student activists and survivors on Main Campus have called for a rape crisis center. Whether this is the solution for Temple is yet to be seen. The goal of a center with streamlined resources and support, however, makes a lot of sense. The addition of a new office and new positions—designated solely to handling cases, education and support for sexual violence incidents—is a step in the right direction.

But for students, administrators, faculty and staff on Temple’s campus throughout these next four years, and for accepted students’ years to come, this is a call to action.

Generations of students may come to benefit from ways the university innovates with solutions now.

And that is paving a new road.