A moment to acknowledge Sexual Assault Awareness Month


The National Sexual Violence Resource Center | Wikimedia Commons

The Editorial Board

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and The Ticker would like to address the subject by introducing students to some resources offered at Baruch College and the greater CUNY community regarding sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge how, unfortunately, common sexual assault and harassment are on college campuses. According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 13% of all undergraduate and graduate students experience rape or other forms of sexual violence.

While classes and campus life are largely online right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the online format likely has greatly reduced the rate of sexual assault among students since they’re not on campus, sexual harassment can still be occurring.

Sexual harassment can include sexual assault and violence, but it also encompasses unwanted sexual messages, emails, texts or calls, unwanted sexual or romantic advances and unwanted photographs and videos that are sexual in nature, among other things.

Regardless of whether the pandemic has reduced the rate of sexual assault at CUNY and Baruch, this month is a good opportunity to revisit the topic and ask if the university is paying it enough attention.

As far as The Ticker’s Editorial Board realized, there hasn’t been much of a mention of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the regular email blasts sent to students’ Baruch emails from either the Baruch or the CUNY administration.

Typically, the Baruch emails bring up the national awareness months, such as Latinx Heritage Month in September or Black History Month in February. While it’s understandable that these are positive months of celebration, it still stands to reason that there would have been some mention of Sexual Assault Awareness Month too.

This may be because remote learning has voided many events that would be held to address the month, but panels and consent seminars could still be being held online, just as many other campus events have been this past year.

In any case, The Ticker wanted to bring some attention to the month, and the grave reality it represents, by sharing some resources that students can look to if they find themselves in a situation relating to sexual assault or harassment. The following is a list of such resources:

Baruch Title IX Office — Accepts complaints about sexual harassment or misconduct between members of the Baruch community
CUNY Title IX Office — Addresses complaints of sexual harassment on a CUNY-wide basis
CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct — The university-wide policy on sexual misconduct and how situations are to be handled
Baruch College Counseling Center — Provides free and confidential counseling services to Baruch undergraduate and graduate students
Baruch College Office of the Dean of Students — Handles disciplinary and crisis situations
NYPD Contact Us — Includes the hotline for the Special Victim’s Unit that investigates sex crimes and has a function to determine your local police precinct

The Ticker hopes that these resources are found to be helpful by the Baruch community.