California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Harassment victim speaks out

    “One of the very first parties I went to, I was standing outside a friend’s house just off campus and this group of guys walked by and one of them reached out and grabbed my crotch,” said Holly Kearl as she prepared to give her speech to CLU students about sexual harassment on campus. “I was stunned and horrified. I stopped going to parties as much after my first semester because the harassment was so bad,” she said.

    On the evening of Sept. 24, Kearl, the founder of Stop Street Harassment and the Program Manager of the American Association of University Women spoke out against sexual harassment with “Addressing Sexual Harassment on Campus,” a lecture held at California Lutheran University.
    She spoke about what the absolute definition of sexual harassment is, what people’s rights are, and what they can do against sexual harassment.

    “There are two types of sexual harassment and assault,” said Kearl.

    They are quid pro quo and a hostile environment.

    “It’s very interesting because there is no clear view between sexual assault and harassment,” said junior Patricia Lee. “I now have a better understanding of what each of those mean.”

    “Nearly two thirds of students have experienced sexual harassment,” said Kearl in a statement from her speech.

    A national study conducted by Kearl and an associate found that 89 percent of students said sexual harassment occurs among students at their school, 62 percent said that they personally have been sexually harassed and 41 percent admitted to sexually harassing another student.

    Akiko Yasuike, the program coordinator for the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, said there have not been many reported incidents of sexual harassment on campus at CLU, but it does happen.

    The college wanted to “make the issue visible,” said Yasuike, and make students aware that “they don’t have to endure that.”

    “I think coming to talk about it raises awareness, which is helpful,” said Kacy Cashatt, president of the Feminism Is club. “It’s getting people to be like, hey this is still an issue, because people think it is fading.”

    Many people who experience sexual harassment or assault do not tell anyone or do anything about it.

    “More than one third of harassed students in the study told no one,” said Kearl. “Less than 10 percent told a school official.”

    Students are strongly encouraged to notify someone if they experience any kind of harassment on campus.

    Students should notify one of the following people immediately: Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Leanne Neilson, Vice President for Student Affairs William Rosser, or the Counseling Center.

    “It is good to know that we have places on campus to go to if anything like that happens to us or to any of our friends,” said junior Chelsea Gutowski.


    Heather Ford
    Staff Writer
    Published On Oct. 3, 2012

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