• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 10 comments on Survey Seeks Student Input on Sexual Assault


    What would we do without a survey and a team of “experienced data analysts”?

    Let’s go through efforts to quantify the experiences of survivors and affected students on campus to MAYBE THEN legitimize it, but only after hand-picked “experts” who aren’t students on campus review the data, write 100 page reports, and make vague, empty, sanitized statements.

    This isn’t about misogyny, sexism, structural violence. Right?

    We should just treat this with a detached, impersonal attitude. Talk about numbers and fancy-worded policy changes! We wouldn’t want to talk about feelings or violence, right? That’s emotional, feminine stuff.

    Call it what it is, or this institution is nothing but complicit.
    BU bureaucracy won’t do a thing to stop sexual assault.

    1. With all due respect, your comment lacks any intelligence or any merit for that matter.
      First of all, lets be civil and not use caps, the exclamation point would suffice.

      No need to put the word experts between quotation marks. I believe that they earned their degrees and are experts in the field of survey design. If you paid attention you would see that the point is to assure that this survey was well designed and piloted. I’m sorry to break the news for you but you need these experts and you need surveys because you need numbers (also called data) to be able to assess the magnitude of the issue and present it to the higher top people and mobilize them.
      I am not sure how your rant offers any solution to this issue. Qualitative data collection by interviewing victims would offer much better data to assess the issue and plan how to face it but this is a sensitive isse and you obviously have no clue how hard it is to “quantify victims’ experiences”. This is a first step to assess and move up the ladder to advocate for change and the people behind this are those who are dedicated to that.

      And by the way, I am pretty sure the published report ok the data will be much much longer than 100 pages. Please take some time to educate yourself then offer enriching feedback.

        1. Actually this relates to my field of study. I spoke from a place of knowledge and criticism. Obviously some people just want to contribute nonsense and it is very in unflattering when some people make themselves look like an ignorant immunity member. Learn about the topic and from others cuz some people may know more than you and that’s a fact. Offer enriching talking points or solution otherwise remain shut. No one wants to hear insults and whining and even worse stupid remakes that makes you look like u have no clue what is being done here. BU needs to be more selective in the application process. It is passive people and comments made such as yours that make no change in the world and only add negativity. No wonder they are having a hard time getting people to take the survey and engage.

    2. I think one of the biggest mistake in your mindset is that you seem to believe rape only happens to women, and men are somehow encouraging or enabling it. Let’s get in the open, you hate men. Or, at the very least, you believe men hate women. With that attitude, all you do is blame.

      To be more direct, you criticize the methods the school is using to try to reduce assaults, but offer no alternative, and no evidence you’ve done anything. You just want to whine about how other people handle the problems you have no solutions to. And then, to make it even better, you say that the supposed problems exist because they don’t want to deal with “emotional, feminine stuff.” Here you blatantly argue not only that the guide is anti-female (without even knowing if there are women on the board or not, mind you), but you claim that feelings are female specific, as if men don’t have them.

      tl;dr You’re a hypocrite, and you will always be angry because you never contribute anything.

    1. Good question! Why not have students on the task force, & also support staff? The two largest groups on campus should be represented, & will have something valuable to contribute.

      SP is entitled to a healthy dose of skepticism concerning this initiative. It’s been a problem on campus for years (cf. BU hockey rapists), but the task force appears only now, when the Federal government requires universities to show some interest. Given BU’s embracing the business model of administration, it’s worth considering whether this is just window-dressing and/or a perfunctory attempt to forestall an (expensive) lawsuit.

      Still, students must complete the survey; the low response rate is inexcusable. However the data is used, having it will bolster any findings in the final report.

    2. Simple. Lack of expertise. One could request that Grad students who have already earned degrees in the area be a part of the team, but that would only cover half of BU’s largest population (students). And if you include one group you have to include all groups. That’s why governments don’t allow the public to take part in foreign or economic policy or in police investigations.

      It’s not a perfect system, but some form of entry barrier is required to establish a standard of measurement.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *