Sociological Imagination

by Gaurav Vaidya

A Rape on Campus

"A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Ruben Erdely is a revealing article that takes a look at college life and rapes occurring at fraternity parties. She specifically targets University of Virginia's fraternity parties like those of Phi Kappa Psi's. Erdely interviewed a rape victim named Jackie who was sexually assaulted by 7 men at a Phi Kappa Psi party during her Freshman year. After that traumatic night, Jackie stated that she was discouraged by her friends to report her assailants because it would destroy her social status at UVA. The following years she was in constant anxiety and depression and had gained 25 pounds from anti-depressant pills and staying in her room all day. Even the dean of the school didn't seem too helpful giving Jackie too many choices instead of strongly recommending her to report her assailants and have justice served. This article shows how rapists at college parties can get away with it because the school administrators want to keep the issue under the rug.

Broader Issues

The broad issue that this article discusses is that people so concerned about their social status and reputation that they will hide anything from the public to make sure they keep their reputations. The UVA administrators demonstrate this through their refusal to report the rape crimes occurring on campus which they are supposed to do according to the Jean Clery Act. Even Jackie's close friends were too concerned for not only for Jackie's social status but University of Virginia's reputation.