Campus Life, Crime and Safety, News, Student Organization

‘The Hunting Ground’ addresses sexual assault on college campuses

The screening of a documentary film about how the issue of sexual assault is handled in college communities was followed by a discussion of the topic on Tuesday afternoon.

The conversation followed the screening of “The Hunting Ground” at the Cosford Cinema, which was presented by the student organization Canes Consent. It focused on how college campuses, including the University of Miami, can better meet the needs of sexual assault survivors. The film featured stories of women who had experienced sexual assault and were ignored or mishandled by their college’s administration in order to keep the school’s sexual assault statistics low.

According to the documentary, a staggering amount of sexual assaults were reported to campus officials throughout a number of years with a significantly low result of consequence for the perpetrators. It also alludes to administrations’ wariness over sexual assault claims due to fear of false reporting when only 2 to 7 percent of sexual assaults reported are false.

Women and Gender Studies Professor Katharine Westaway introduced the film to the audience and said that, according to the Association of American Universities, 27 percent of undergraduate women and 5 percent of undergraduate men will be sexually assaulted before they earn their degree.

“That means that 389 women this year and 68 men will be assaulted at UM,” Westaway said.

The documentary highlighted the journey of two sexual assault survivors to make a change on college campuses by helping other survivors file Title IX complaints against the institutions for their failure to punish the alleged perpetrators of the assault.

Title IX was created to protect students from discrimination of any sort while they pursue their education. UM has recently hired a full-time Title IX employee in charge of making sure this portion of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is upheld. However, the employee works in the Dean of Students Office, where many Title IX complaints are sent, so there is a conflict of interest according to Westaway.

Students at the screening seemed to have strong emotions at the end of the documentary, including UM senior Ja’Shoundra Pouncy, who described herself as “feeling a rush of anger flow.” She said she believes the documentary is a great beginning for a conversation to happen within the University of Miami community.

“The movie highlights a point that we all want to believe, that rape and sexual assault culture is not real and cannot happen to us or those close to us,” Pouncy said. “We also like to think that, if something were to happen to us or our friends, justice would be served. However, the movie shows that we have a false sense of security about all of it.”

Featured image courtesy Pixabay user thomashendele

 

November 18, 2015

Reporters

Amanda Herrera

Amanda Herrera can be reached via email at aherrera@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @_AmandaHerrera.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was maybe coincidence, but positioned just behind his left shoulder as Tyrique Stevenson spoke ab ...

The Miami Hurricanes unveiled a new turnover chain this season, replacing the bedazzled “U” that han ...

Before now, the last time the Miami Hurricanes scored 21 or fewer points in four consecutive games w ...

Keontra Smith waited a long time for the Miami Hurricnaes to finally offer him. The defensive back g ...

University of Miami true freshman running back Cam’ron Davis, known as Cam for short, is about to lo ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

The Canes hit the road for the final time in the 2018 regular season and it is to a familiar and hos ...

The Canes top the Golden Eagles to move onto the WNIT Championship game. ...

Miami wraps up its season-opening homestand with a 2 p.m. Saturday matchup against Bethune-Cookman a ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced Thursday the signing of three golfers to N ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.