Author Archives: humphrey13

Final Investigative Article

http://storify.com/dolphinchick576/only-you-can-prevent-tragedies-on-campus

 

This is the link to my final article. I made it on the site we talked about in class. Let me know if it works!!

Investigative article take 1

              Who Ya Gonna Call? Not Campus Safety!

The University of Virginia suffered a tragic loss back in May of 2010. A young female student, Yeardly Love, was found murdered on campus by her on and off boyfriend, George Huguely. Both student’s were members of their school’s varsity lacrosse teams, and were very well known across UVA’s campus. Unfortunately, no one decided to come forward with the knowledge of Huguely’s abusive behavior towards Love until it was too late. According to an article published by CBS; UVA was aware of Huguely’s past run ins with the law, but they were unaware of his resistance and death threats towards a female officer when arrested for public intoxication back in 2008.

The article stated that school officials at UVA didn’t know about his threats and resistance because Huguely never told them. The president of UVA, John Casteen, stated, “UVA students are required to self-report arrests.” However, there is a gap in the law, which makes it difficult for colleges and universities to become aware of arrests.

So the question is, could this whole thing have been prevented if people on campus had been more informed? What if one of Love’s friends had reported Huguely’s behavior towards her? Why didn’t Huguely’s friends bring up his wild, and threatening acts towards the police? Why didn’t police notify the University of his arrest, or even the schools athletic department?  One thing is certain, in order for a student to be able to feel safe on a campus where they are to live for 4 years, campus safety, local police stations, and students need to be aware of everything going on.

Universities and colleges across the nation claim to be on it when it comes to student safety. The University of Southern Illinois’s public safety department published an informational site on their website. It can be found under, “Campus safety alerts”. Right at the beginning of this page, they give out all the information a female student needs to know about sexual assault and how to prevent it. It also gives out information about the statistics of crimes and assault charges on campuses across the country. 70% of rapes in a college setting occur in date rape situations, meaning that the victim knows their rapist. Also, when these events occur, the friends of both individuals tend to know the situation took place and do not report it. The site also encourages men and women on campus to report anything they may have heard or know about assaults. The more people informed of something, the easier it is to prevent or help assault victims.

In an interview with former Sweet Briar College student, Grace Van Dyke ’13, who graciously agreed to give her reasons for transferring to the University of Tennessee, came shocking statements and facts that the SBC student body may not have been put aware of.

“I went to a boathouse with some friends. I drank minimally (maybe one or two drinks), and was dancing with guys I’d met before. I began to feel strange and wanting to go home after sipping on my second drink of the entire night, and the guys offered me a ride. I remember being in a car full of both ladies and men, and then everything went foggy until the next morning.”

Van Dyke continued to say that when she woke up, she couldn’t remember what had happened after she left the boathouse but felt something was wrong. She was too afraid to admit that she had been raped the night before until later in the day. She had a rape test taken, but it had been too long a wait for it to be affective. However, she knew something had taken place because she could not walk correctly. When asked about campus safety and local police, this is what she had to say.

“Campus safety was ok, but they couldn’t handle the case. {They} had to pass it onto Amherst PD, and the officer made me feel like a liar, and like I “asked for it”. When my parents talked to him, he told them he wasn’t sure anything actually happened to me that night”

On Sweet Briar’s campus safety web page, there are no links or informational pages in re-guards to how they handle rape or assault charges that occur on campus. It also doesn’t show how they handle other types of dangerous situations that may take place. When asked the question of how things might have been prevented, Van Dyke shared her facts and opinion. She made it clear that the night of the boathouse, older girls at the school who were running the boathouse asked the campus safety officers to back off some. As a figure of the law, they should not have listened to the party throwers. It is there job to protect.

During the rest of Van Dykes interview, she shared another situation that took place within the schools knowledge, and shared her views of men after everything she had been through due to poor security.

“About 10 months after I left SBC, I had to get an Order of Protection against my boyfriend. My relationship, which many of the staff at SBC supported, didn’t tell me about the suspicious behavior of his. Apparently, he used to call the Dean of Students, Cheryl Steele, and check up on me. I would have liked to be informed about the calls. So, SBC did very little to keep me safe from two different kinds of abuse that I endured there. I was raped, and in an emotionally abusive relationship. My opinion of men, now, is very low. I see them as controlling, physical beings as opposed to potential partners. If I start to have romantic feelings for a man, or he does for me, I tend to end communication with him. I can’t handle it anymore.”

September 11th, 2001

I remember every detail to my day when I found out what had happened. I was in my 5th grade class when my teacher, Mrs. Sullivan, asked my friend Caitie and I to take a note down the the principles office. I remember walking down the hallway and passing two 6th grade girls talking about how someone had bombed the Twin Towers in NYC. My first thought was that someone had thrown one of those black bombs you see in Bugs Bunny cartoons into the building. When I had returned to the class room, Mrs. Sullivan was with the other three 5th grade teachers on their cellphones. Mrs. Sullivan was crying and Ms. Hart, whose birthday it was that day, was holding her up. Within 10 minutes of being back in the room, everyone in my class was being called down to the office because their parents were there to pick them up. I live in Vienna, which is a town 15 minutes outside of Washington, DC. Most of our parents had their offices in the city, but we all still had no idea why we were being called out so early.

Caitie and I walked home since our school was right next to our neighborhood, and I remember pointing out that there were no airplanes in the sky on our walk. Caitie agreed it was strange because we were right in the middle of Dullas and Reagan Nation airports. When we walked through our neighborhood, everyone was outside on their cellphones. Some were yelling into their phones, some were writing things down while talking slowly. That’s what we decided to pick up our pace to get home. When we walking into my driveway, my dad was outside on our house phone talking to someone, and he just said to us, “Go inside and look at the TV.”

I walked into the house, and sat on the couch down in my living room. I remember watching the first tower on fire and then the 2nd plane flying into the 2nd tower. I was both scared and amazed at what was happening. I had been on a plane the night before the attacks coming home from Chicago. I had flown alone for the first time, and realized if I had waited a day later I would not be sitting at home that day because I wouldn’t have been able to get a flight back to DC for a while. My dad came inside a few minutes later and told me that my mom was alright, but she had seen the plane fly right into the Pentagon. My mom was at conference with her coworkers and they could see everything from the building they were in. I did not leave the couch the entire day. I watched replays of the planes hit, listened to what the President had to say, watched as people scrambled for safety, I remember everything. The one story that has been engraved in my memory was about the little girl whose birthday it was and she was turning 5. Her and her mom were on their way to visit her grandma, but they never made it. Instead their plane hit the first tower.

The weekend after 9/11, my 3 friends and I had a lemonade stand where we raised $2,175 for the families of 9/11. One man saw our signs, turned his black BMW around and gave us a check for $200. He said something to us that I will never forget.

“It’s kids like you 4 that bring back hope in times like these. God Bless you.”

We delivered the money to the Firefighters that night and they said it was amazing that we raised that much in one day.

I believe that after the tragedies, America really became a country united. Everywhere you turned, there was a flag. We took too much for granted before we were attacked, and afterwards, we stood together to show the world they could not break us. The terrorists tried to bring us down, but in the process, they built us up. The world saw weakness, when we saw strength. Everyone was there for each other, and I believe that today should bring back that feeling all over America. Over the past 10 years, we have grown to hate, again. We fight over money, the war in Iraq, politics, etc… When 9/11 happened, all those things seemed to not exist. Hate brought terror to our country, which is why I believe today should show people why we need to forget the small things. Hate is easy, but love takes courage.

The attacks on September 11th were meant to attack the United States of America, but the people took them as an attack on every single individual who call this country home. I think the 10 year mark brings closure for some people. I know it’s brought some to me. We need to be grateful for our time we have been given here on Earth; For the freedoms we have been born with; For those fighting for our country each day, and for those whose lives were lost 10 years ago trying to save lives in the Pentagon, Twin Towers, and Flight 93. We are truly the Home of The Brave.

We will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper <3