Editorial: Proposed merger would hinder missions
ASUA's proposal to merge Campus Acquaintance Rape Education with the Women's Resource Center is an ineffective and unfair plan, and it should not be passed.
This week ASUA will vote on the plan, which was proposed by ASUA Senator Tiffany Podbielski.
Instead of helping all rape victims, a group which includes men, merging CARE with the Women's Resource Center implies that rape is only a women's problem. CARE offers resources for all rape victims. It is a group that men would feel comfortable visiting if they are sexually assaulted.
If CARE merges with the WRC, men will feel uncomfortable about visiting the center, and will therefore not receive the adequate care that the campus center can provide them. True, rape victims are overwhelmingly female, and most people associate individuals who are sexually victimized with being women.
However, one in six American men are also victims of rape. All rape victims, women and men, deserve good care. For the WRC and CARE to merge is to further the false stereotype that all rape victims are women.
Furthermore, members of both WRC and CARE oppose the plan.
"We (CARE and WRC) collaborate on certain things, but we don't have the same interests," said Kate Schroll, co-director of the WRC.
When ASUA discussed the plan last Wednesday, 20 members from both groups expressed their disapproval with the plan.
Clearly, those directly involved in the WRC and CARE better understand how their organization works than does the ASUA Senate. It is unreasonable for ASUA to propose a plan that impacts both groups when members of both WRC and CARE know the inner-workings of their respective organizations.
It is clear that Podbielski's plan is trying to assist rape victims, and ASUA's proactive stance is admirable. However, ASUA's proposal does little or nothing to truly help rape victims. It merely furthers the stereotype that rape is a woman's problem, and it discourages male victims of rape and sexual assault from stepping forward.
Aside from the proposal to merge WRC and CARE, the UA needs to take a tougher overall stance on helping rape victims. This also includes changing the UA code of conduct by adding a clause about rape. If the UA truly takes such a heinous crime seriously, it needs to prove this by altering the code of conduct. That the university has failed to do so is a shame, and it shows that university officials do not take the crime of rape seriously.
Clearly, UA officials are not taking enough action, and ASUA is attempting to take unnecessary action.
If the UA as a whole wants to assist all rape victims, UA officials will include a clause about rape in the code of conduct.
And if ASUA wants to help rape victims, it should leave the WRC and CARE alone. It should not attempt to merge the two, but should make an effort to assist both groups equally.