Against the backdrop of sexual assault charges against two BU hockey players and the creation of a task force that will investigate the hockey team’s culture, a live chat and town hall meeting today will ponder a possible Rape Culture at BU.
Both events will take place at the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism, which is cohosting the live chat with Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore (SED’87).
“These assaults are a cause célèbre but are absolutely not the only sexual assaults that happen on campus,” says Ariana Katz (CAS’12, CGS’10), codirector of the center. Many victims don’t go to the police, she says, and “discounting a rape culture ignores the experiences of survivors who do not report it.”
She hopes the two events publicize “how rape culture is perpetuated at BU and ways to combat it immediately from the bottom up and top down. And most of all, we want to stand up in support of survivors of assault.”
President Robert A. Brown announced last week, after hockey defenseman Max Nicastro (CGS’11, MET’13) pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped a student February 19, that a task force will be convened. In December, former player Corey Trivino (MET’12) was arrested for allegedly kissing and groping a BU student against her will; he has pleaded not guilty. Neither player is enrolled this semester.
The Student Union weighed in last week with a statement, signed by the group’s president, Howard B. Male (SHA’12), requesting an investigation into the “culture and norms of our athletic teams.” Calling the charges against Nicastro and Trivino distressing, the statement declared that students “do not condone, and will not accept, a culture where sexual assault is permitted.”
The live chat runs from 5 to 5:30 p.m. at the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism, located in the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. Watch here. Send questions before or during the event via Twitter to @DeanElmore, or via the UStream chat. The town hall meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the center. Watch here. Both events are open to all students.