You may have noticed that once again, the teen peer educators have strategically placed t-shirts around campus supposedly addressing the issue of sexual assault. To avoid confusion let us first reiterate that sexual assault is an important issue and should be discussed openly and publicly. But we question whether putting sayings on t-shirts is the most effective way of addressing the issue.Who are these t-shirts for? Is it comforting for a rape victim to walk into the Union or Library and be accosted by some trivial, some bordering on vulgar slogans?
Rape is not an issue to be treated lightly, and some of the t-shirts depict the act in such a way that demeans the victims even more. Certainly, potential rapists will not be put off by these t-shirts instructing them to “ask first.” And where does that leave everyone else? Uniformed and largely unaffected by a display that will soon fade from memory.
The Wall of Silence, a far less intrusive method of information, is a better alternative to the t-shirts. We hope in the future, the peer educators will try to find more tactful, effective ways to inform.