A handful of students at a Thursday forum discussed the need to keep visible UR’s handling of its investigation into Professor T. Florian Jaeger, with some wondering if the nearly empty room was a reflection of how much students cared about the issue.
They had gathered in Hoyt Auditorium for a showing of “The Hunting Ground,” hosted by UR Cinema Group. The film, a 2015 documentary profiling those involved in sexual assault cases on college campuses, argues that college administrations take a victim-blaming approach when presented with rape cases.
The film tells the story of two survivors of sexual assault, Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, who worked to form a network of hundreds of other survivors with the goal of holding university administrations accountable.
After the showing, activists senior Lindsay Wrobel and Jenna Register ‘16 facilitated a discussion about parallels between the film and UR’s campus.
Wrobel encouraged everyone in the audience to hold their friends accountable for their sometimes unintentionally sexist language, and for their contribution to this cause.
“If you claim you support victims, why weren’t you here?” she said.
One audience member chimed in later: “People need to start thinking about this in a different light because this is a violent offense.”
Two representatives from RESTORE Sexual Assault Services were present at the showing, and encouraged students to take advantage of free, confidential support to survivors of sexual assault.
Advocates from RESTORE are equipped to assist victims in reporting sexual assault to the university with a comprehensive confidence in one’s rights as a student, as well as provide information about medical and legal options. In a system that favors the offender, “the sacrifice is always on the victim (to report),” Register said.
Wrobel cautioned those who may think they don’t have any stake in fighting sexual misconduct.
“Statistically, even if you don’t think you do, you know someone who has been harassed,” Wrobel said.
The film will be shown again this fall, as the organizers of the event hope to continue to bring the issue of sexual harassment to light. In the meantime, Cinema Group has bought the film for the library.