Yesterday, 9/27/19, Simon’s Rock fell into a panic after a violent attack on one of our students of color on-campus. Security responded with an email at 7:55 p.m. (more than 5 hours after the event) with an emailed statement which contained the following about the crime: “at approximately 2:30 p.m., a student reported being dragged into the woods and violently assaulted by an unknown individual near the Interpretive Trail” and went on to ensure that the police are looking into the issue. Although, they were seemingly calling upon students to help track down the perpetrator, asking if there was anyone with information about the violence. In the email, they also suggested that students walk in groups, as to avoid dangerous situations.
At 9 p.m., after a call from a concerned student, Simon’s Rock employed their male residence directors as defacto security outside of Late Night Breakfast. An event, during which, the peer mentors of Simon’s Rock wrote out a plea, urging the campus to issue a lockdown. This statement was sent to all, including faculty and staff, part of which read:
In the meantime, many students took to social media to express their dissatisfaction and to warn others to stay safe. One user posted this message that was quickly passed around Instagram stories,
What stands most important to the survivor is that everyone knows her attacker didn’t win. Her friends know that the allies are more aware than ever and they’re going to do everything they can to find the assailant and send them to jail.
Today, 9/28/19, there were messages from concerned parents saying that they were unimpressed with security on-campus. As a response, Pat Sharpe sent out an email expressing that students being affected by this should not have their midterm grades put in jeopardy. “I am writing to let you know that I have written to all faculty to say that midterm grades and comments should be based only on the work you completed up to yesterday, Friday September 27.” Separately, they announced that Bard Campus will be sending additional security to Simon’s Rock for more student protection. In this email, they alluded, for the first time, to the possibility that this crime was racially charged. Notably, it was sent 30 minutes after a Student Council and BSU meeting calling for our current provost to respond to the crime.
The Weekly Cad will continue to post updates on the situation as we receive them. Students are sharing their opinions right now on the Cad Instagram story: @theweeklycad
Winnie Marion. Winnie Marion is the Co-Founder of The Weekly Cad.