We, the members of the Freshman Executive Committee, as a body formed to represent the Class of 2019, strongly urge our classmates to take the university’s confidential Sexual Assault and Misconduct Climate Survey.
This survey is designed to give the university a better picture of how sexual assault has affected students on campus. Through this survey, we will be able to better quantify the true effects sexual assault and its culture have on Georgetown’s campus. Armed with these results, we will work to improve resources, education and policy for years to come.
Sexual assault is immensely significant for our class in particular: studies show that instances of sexual assault and dating violence occur with a higher frequency in one’s freshman year than any other period of college. Moreover, close to one in five women report having experienced rape or attempted rape at some point during their freshman year.
Beyond national statistics, this issue is defined by members of our class as one of the most pressing issues we face. In a survey we conducted in November, which was taken by over 350 members of the Class of 2019, sexual assault was voted the second most important issue on campus, just behind dining. To put this in perspective, this survey showed that sexual assault was a bigger concern for the freshman class than issues such as facilities, academics and sustainability.
Not only is our data crucial in shaping the most accurate picture of the prevalence of sexual assault on our campus, but it is our voice that will influence the dialogue and improvement of the university’s future policy. The results from the Campus Climate Survey will educate and inform future student advocates and the administration for many years; as freshmen, with three more years on campus, we are in the best position to make a lasting impact. We must, through a strong participation in the Campus Climate Survey, form the foundation from which our voices will be heard for years to come. The Class of 2019, along with all Georgetown students, must take collective action and complete this survey.
We believe that Georgetown University can be on the forefront of sexual assault policy reform. As a university whose moral tenants come so heavily from Jesuit values, it is our duty to create and foster an environment in which every student feels safe and comfortable. If we are truly to be men and women for others, we must address the issues which so profoundly impact our fellow students. With our help, Georgetown can create an environment that will serve as an example for universities around the nation.
Students of the Class of 2019, this is our opportunity.
We realize that we all live busy, hectic lives; however, by completing this 20-minute survey, we can move one step closer to creating an environment that embodies the core concept of cura personalis. By completing this survey, each of us is working towards making a difference in our community. So, we — the Freshmen Executive Committee — ask each of our classmates to take the Campus Climate Survey by February 6th and to take a step forward in making our campus a safer environment.
Zachary Schroepfer is a freshman in the Mcdonough School of Business. He is a member of the Georgetown University Student Association Freshman Executive Committee.