The deliberation that I decided to attend was about safe sex and sexual abuse. I chose this topic because I thought it was one of the most relevant topics here on a college campus. In addition to the students, I thought one of the best parts of the deliberation was the involvement of the audience. There was one specific individual that I felt added very important information to the deliberation. I will talk more about the specifics of this individual.
The first approach for this deliberation was very important. Since there are a lot of terms in relation to sexual violence, the definitions set the background that was needed for the other approaches to build off of. These definitions, ranging in source, were very specific. For example, the definition of rape was extremely specific. Many of these definitions I was unaware of because I did not know the specific definition for each act committed.
The other approaches were very interesting because they involved the students on campus, as well as the campus administration. One of the most interesting aspects to these approaches, for me, were some of the notification systems that I had never heard of. In addition to the text messages that I get, the “Timely Warnings”, there are two other main sources of notification. The fact that I have never heard of them made me wonder the purpose of these notifications.
One of the discussions revolved around the frequency in which the notifications are sent out. There are multiple warnings sent out every week, sometimes every day. This seems to decrease the severity of the impact that the warnings have on students. The higher the frequency that the alerts are sent out, the less people seem to notice them. This has a negative effect, and it makes me wonder whether the warnings should be sent out at the frequency that they are.
The police officer that attended the deliberation brought up a very interesting topic, the university is obliged to notify all students and staff when there is a report. Regardless when the act occurred, the notification must be sent out. Furthermore, most people do not want to admit all of the information, and the qualities of the individuals are all “unknown”. Here is an example of a common report.
Hair Color: Unknown
Eye Color: Unknown
Additional Description: No physical descriptors of the suspect were provided.
Since there is no actual information provided in these reports, most people pay no attention to the reports. Again, this decreases the impact of the notifications which is counter productive. Overall, this deliberation opened my eyes to the specific types of sexual harrassments, by putting the specific name to the act. Furthermore, it was interesting to hear the point of view of the students directly before and after the information provided by the police officer – an official.