Accountability — it is a word we hear frequently but at the end of the day, it is also a word that many have forgotten the meaning of. The events that have transpired over the course of the past few days show a serious lack of accountability in regards to the Ohio State University’s commitment to its student body.
It is a crying shame that this institution can invest $118 million dollars into construction of the new Ohio Union but apparently cannot allocate sufficient funding to the budget for protecting its students and faculty members. At some point, the administration must come forward and admit that they dropped the ball.
We can talk all we want about the efforts being taken to get more students signed up for crime alerts, but what does it profit us if they are not receiving them? I for one am signed up for e-mail and text notifications but heard nothing about the reported rape that took place early last week until my roommate mentioned her own fears of falling victim to assault two days later.
Furthermore, I have heard of several instances in which individuals said they did not receive any notification of today’s shooting at all, or until an hour later, although they too had signed up for these alerts. In such matters, time is not on our side and every second makes a difference. A delay in response seriously jeopardizes our campus community.
This represents a serious shortcoming on the part of the university, yet it went unreported to The Columbus Dispatch and CNN as officials claimed that, in both cases, crime alerts did in fact reach members of the OSU community in a timely, efficient manner. They can lie to the media all they want but we as students know the truth.
Beyond this, it took the university four days to acknowledge in an e-mail the possibility of the first sexual assault.
At the end of the day, victims of sexual assault should be taken seriously. It is this stigma and fear that they will not be fairly represented or stood up for that has left so many victims of such heinous acts in the dark for decades. We as a community must see it as our duty to let them know that their voices will not go unheard and that we will do everything in our power to advocate for them when they need us the most.