Friday, April 21, 2017

Literature Review #5:

(1)    Visual. 

(2)    Citation.  Mengo, Cecilia , and Beverly M. Black. "Violence Victimization on a College Campus: Impact on GPA and School Dropout." Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice 18.2 (2016): 234-48. SAGE. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

(3)    Summary. This article is about the impact on violence victimization, specifically sexual assault, on college students. The study shows how violence victimization drop their grade point averages as well as drop out of school completely.

(4)    Author(s).  The two authors are Cecilia Mengo and Beverly M. Black. Mengo has a PhD in Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. All of her research is drawn from academics, personal life experiences, and her experience with working on issues of women development. Beverly M. Black has a PhD and MSSW. Dr. Black conducts research and publishes issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, adolescent dating violence, and prevention programming. Both of the authors seem passionate and knowledgeable of violence victimization. 

(5)    Key terms.  School Dropout: a person who has abandoned a course of study or who has rejected conventional society to pursue an alternative lifestyle.

Sexual Violence: is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person's sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim.

(6)    Quotes.  "32.4% of college-aged women reported at least one incident of physical violence during college" (235). 
"Research on sexual victimization on college campuses has identified shock, confusion, agitation, fear, and social withdrawal as the immediate aftermath of sexual victimization violence (235). 
"Engagement, identified as a key construct in academic performance, is likely to be particularly difficult for those students who have been victimized by violence" (246).

(7)    Value.  This article will help me find information for my research question which is: why don't more college women report sexual assaults? Also, this article lets me take my argument further by explaining that colleges seem to allow victims to drop out of school as an easy way to handle sexual assault cases. Victims feel like there is no one to turn to or no where to get help and then they resort to dropping out rather than standing up to the perpetrator and getting the justice that they deserve. 

Research Blog #9: Argument and Counter-Argument

After reading many articles and cases on sexual assault, I started to develop a couple different research questions than I intended. In the beginning, my initial research question was: why don't more college women report sexual assaults? With further research, I started to question: why universities go to great lengths to cover up sexual assault crimes. My argument is that college administrations make it difficult for students to report due to possible repercussions of the perpetrator and to protect their reputation. Due to this, there is this "silence" of sexual assault on college campuses. Universities do not report sexual assaults to protect their brand and therefore, undermine this widespread and prevalent issue. In turn, this hinders victims from reporting the crime because they understand that college administrations are unwilling to help them and they refrain from stepping into the public eye to protect themselves. 

In an academic article titled, "A Hostile Environment for Student Defendants: Title IX and Sexual Assault on College Campuses" written by Stephen Henrick; he focuses on how schools are supposed to handle sexual assault cases. His point of view combats by arguments which is eye-opening because I didn't know much about the other perspectives on sexual assault crimes and how universities should handle it. Hendrick believes that the enforcement of Title IX cannot come at the expense of the civil rights of innocent people(the accused). He writes, "the law must recognize that a university has limits. Society must assign the adjudication of sexual assault to civil and criminal court system to ensure justice is concerned" (Henrick 92). I understand Henrick's side of his argument which is, the accused sometimes are wrongly convicted or the legal processes may damage the accused's academic career. Personally, I feel that his argument is insensitive to the victims. Although there may be some cases where perpetrators are wrongly accused, there are typically rape kits, bruises, and other physical evidence to prove the accusations. Not only that, victims are usually mentally and emotionally damaged after the crime. I do not believe the school should have sympathy for the perpetrators because they are putting another student life and academic career in danger. The university should feel responsible to prosecute those persons who endanger or hinder the well-being of other students. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Research Blog #8: Case

For my paper, I will be using multiple cases to illustrate my argument that universities go to high extents to protect their public reputations by keeping the "silence" of sexual assault on college campuses. To highlight one specific example, I studied the case of Erica Kinsman. On December 7th, 2012, Erica Kinsman who was an undergraduate at Florida State University, was raped by an unknown perpetrator after drinking at a local off-campus bar. After the rape, Erica got a rape test and went straight to the police. She eventually figured out that the man who raped her was James Winston, a star football player for the school. According to the The New York Times, investigators "delayed talking to witnesses, interviewing James Winston (the accused), and collecting his DNA". Throughout the whole legal process, both the school and police made virtually no investigation and there were injustices on all institutional levels. The police failed to initially contact Winston and the investigative officer, who happened to be a booster for the Seminole football team, suspended the investigation for months due to Erica's "uncooperative manner". (Ha!). It took 342 days for investigators to obtain DNA samples from Winston and almost a year after the rape was committed, the State Attorney Office announced that they would not be charging Winston. In 2014, two years after the report of rape, Florida State University "strongly recommends" that if there is an accusation of sexual assault it should be investigated and resolved within 60 days. 

This case speaks to my debate because Florida State University and the case of Erica Kinsman is a perfect example of how the school avoided to tarnish their "brand" and they went to extreme measures to protect a star athlete. Schools have a lot of control over how they handle rape cases and often times, do not prosecute individuals in the correct way or according to Title IX. Sexual assault is such a silent issue on college campuses because of institutional failure of reporting the crime and making victims feel isolated, alone, and not knowing who to turn to for help. Unfortunately, this issue turns victims away from reporting the crime because they either know the school will not help them or they do not want to be in the public eye. 

I have gotten a lot of my research and information from The Hunting Ground documentary. I really like this source because Erica Kinsman tells her own personal story and the directors lay out the case in detail. Additionally, I have read other material from newspaper articles that talk about Florida State's mistakes and settlement information. I would personally like to hear more about Jameis Winston's story if it was possible to get more details on that. It seems as though his side of the story is covered up and that he is protected by the school and lawyers. This information would be useful in investigating the unethical ways the school handled the crime.

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