A College-Aged Rape Epidemic

A College-Aged Rape Epidemic

Because people talk about sexual assault like it's a bad habit that men have.

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We don't have a problem with sexual assault; we have many of them. For many students, sexual assault is no longer just a flyer in the women's restroom or a program at orientation; it's a reality.

Sexual assault has become an epidemic across college campus- a widespread occurrence affecting many without a solution. College campuses work to provide programs, funding, and counseling resource centers in hopes to put an end to this problem before it starts and help the victims after it happens in hopes of not having any more. However, universities are built on a reputation that encourages donations, prospective students, and respect. Sexual assault statistics and case reports are swept under the rug to protect their reputation but not their victims.

An eighteen-year-old girl walks into the health center with mascara running down her face and asks for a rape kit. She spends the next three hours meeting with different specialists and counselors to help her piece together a night she can't remember but will never forget. A boy sits through orientation looking for tinder matches but learns that consent is more than swiping left. University therapists and counselors leave their families to help someone else's daughter. Campus police leave their sons at home to protect a campus from someone else's'.

Daughters are told to watch their drink, never walk alone, dress modestly, ignore the man at the bar. Parents buy pepper-spray keychains and warn of the men that will make her use it. But drugged girls are pulled into Ubers unable to ask the driver their name or remember their own. A long term relationship turns from admiration to assault in a freshman dorm room. Girls are waking up in fraternity houses with nothing to remember the night except 37 texts from their roommate. Students read about rape cases on the bus to class then become one that night. Girls beg to know why this happened to them, but colleges across the country beg them to be silent.

One in four college women will experience sexual assault before graduation according to the Association of American Universities, and my school is not exempt from this statistic. At a school known for its successful reputation, sexual assault is not advertised to a public of prospective students and their parents. In 2015, UGA reported four times the number of rape reports than the year before within students and faculty. But this isn't due to a more dangerous class of freshmen but a policy change. Rape culture in college is 95 percent going unreported making accuracy assessing the amount of assault nearly impossible. However, with this policy change, universities are required to not just include cases reported to campus police or within school zip code boundaries but is required to include cases that happen off campus in sexual assault records.

When it comes to reporting sexual assault, victims are presented with two main options: police departments within the university or through the county. Within the university, it is typical that a preponderance standard is followed throughout the investigation. This allows investigators to spend less time handling the investigation and giving victims the benefit of the doubt. If it's more likely than not that an instance occurred, most investigation cases a lot a 51% certainty to the case. However, a university protects the privacy of an investigation and in doing so, protects the abusers from legal trouble through punishments such as expulsion opposed to jail time.

Within county police departments, most investigators practice a "clear and convincing" model of investigation in which is more thorough. This protects against false accusations as well as develops a stronger case through data collection that is more powerful in state law. However, for victims without sufficient evidence, this process can take longer before a conclusion is reached and can be more difficult for victims involved.

This epidemic isn't specific to UGA and isn't one with a cure. For victims without evidence, UGA offers resources but not always restitution. For those with evidence, UGA avoids a county standard of punishment for abusers. UGA doesn't have a solution to end sexual assault on campus; it has many of them. They have solutions to a problem they won't admit to having.

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If You Have A Project You Want To Grow, Crowdfunding May Be The Answer

The benefits of the crowdfunding phenomenon.

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The idea of crowdfunding is exciting, isn't it? A small town poet can use a platform like GoFundMe or Patreon to sell their work directly to those who are looking for it. A community organizer can not only raise funds for an upcoming event, but they can also keep the funds coming in to raise money for the monthly expenses of running their group. A magazine editor can keep their readership engaged through multimedia as well as tangible perks in exchange for tiers of subscription costs.

Crowdfunding makes it so people can combine multiple engagement styles directly with target audiences for a common cause.

What really makes crowdfunding satisfying is getting monetary confirmation that what one is passionate about is supported. Money rules a lot of the world, and receiving money for creating or providing something for others is extremely fulfilling. Different than just going to work and earning a paycheck. Jobs employ workers to create or provide something that has already had a template of origination.

Crowdfunding is running one's own business of creation or providing goods without a bunch of the red tape. In fact, one could say that crowdfunding has allowed sites like Etsy to flourish. One can now make a pretty decent profit just making pins, Mickey ears, necklaces — whatever one can imagine — and get it directly in eyes of those interested. There's nothing to lose in crowdfunding, just the hour or so it may or may not take to set up the site.

Crowdfunding can also be used for temporary things like school funds, funeral funds, and recovery efforts. Need $10,000 to get through a semester at college? Have a sudden death in the family and need $5,000 to pay closing costs and unexpected expenses? Major world disaster like a hurricane or tsunami destroy an entire majorly populated area? GoFundMe is your answer. You'll most likely get twice as much funds then the goal you set.

There's now many crowdfunding sites out there. Outside of GoFundMe, the three biggies are Patreon, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter. So take your pick, make your page, and get some money!

And just in case you're wondering, yes I do have crowdfunding efforts out there for my projects! One for my personal writings, and one for my magazine.

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6 Ways I Was Able To Achieve Straight A's At The University Of Georgia This Semester

It honestly took me entirely too long to figure out how to do well in my classes.

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It is super common for students to come to the University of Georgia and have a horrible first year academically, because of the rigor and new stresses. High school doesn't prepare you for it, and it can often times make you feel really crappy about yourself. It is common for straight A students to come to UGA and start making C's. The reasons vary from studying habits to a new environment, but either way, it is the worst feeling in the world to be top of your class, and get to college and start falling behind. I haven't really made bad grades in college, but I came to UGA with a 4.2 GPA and I can assure you that was NOT the case after my first semester.

1. I stopped relying solely on my memory and used my resources.

I have always been the type of person to have a planner, but it even takes a lot to remember to look at the planner. Therefore, it was time to take things to the next level. I reminded myself of deadlines, events, and assignments in various ways to make sure I didn't slip up. This included google calendar, putting up a whiteboard in my room, notecards with important dates, etc. I have major anxiety about forgetting things, so to solve that, I just literally wrote them everywhere I possibly could.

2. I figured out why I was in college and what my purpose was.

It's hard to do something every day that you aren't even sure about. When I started to make lower grades, it was easy for me to think I was at the wrong place or doing the wrong thing. I had to really make confirm that college was for me and what I really wanted for myself. I did this by studying abroad and getting to know some of my professors. I learned that I really loved to learn and wanted to continue living in a scholarly world. All and all, I figured out that I really belonged here and I could do it.

3. I changed my major.

It was super hard for me to do this because I am the type of person that creates a plan and sticks to it. Changing my major meant that the plan was changing too, and that was one of the hardest decisions I've made. But once I changed my major to something that better fit me and what I wanted to do in the future (changed it from Risk Management and Insurance to Consumer Journalism), I was more confident and eager to make better grades.

4. I realized that everyone is in the same boat.

UGA admissions state that in 2018, the high school core GPA Overall Average of All Admitted First-Year Students was a 4.07. That means just about everyone coming in pretty much got all A's, dual enrolled, and/or took AP classes. But I can assure you, there aren't many people who continue to get those kinds of grades. And that's okay. College is much harder and it takes time to adjust. I had to realize I wasn't the only one.

5. I put school before EVERYTHING.

I missed events for my clubs, time with my friends, and I honestly probably watched Netflix a total of 10 times maximum. I decided if I was going to be in college, then it would be my first and only priority. It's easy to say that, but it's hard to miss fun things when this is supposed to be the "best four years of your life." But you kind of just have to come to terms with the fact that there will always be more chances to do those things, but if you make a bad grade it isn't necessarily going to go away.

6. When I could, I started saying YES.

It was easy for me to constantly feel like I had no time to do any more clubs or activities, but it was possible with balance and strategic planning. The more things I was involved in like UGA HEROs, Young Democrats, or even Odyssey Online, the more excited I was about what I was doing with my life. I even became a notetaker for two of my classes so I was forced to take good notes and go to class. I also studied abroad when I felt like I had absolutely no time and it turned out to be an experience that I will never forget. I said yes to things I was genuinely passionate about and things that would help me further develop skills for my future career(s).

Ultimately, to make the grades I wanted, I had to reevaluate everything I was doing and put the work in. It is all about your mindset and how far you are willing to push yourself. It's about things like being willing to do the extra credit, going to the office hours, staying in when everyone else is going out, giving yourself adequate time to study, and being surrounded by people who have similar goals. I also REALLY wanted my Zell Miller Scholarship back and I made it a goal to get there. Set goals and make them happen. If you are wanting to get better grades, my advice would be to emirs yourself completely into school. It doesn't sound super fun or cool, but it is only a few years and the return will be totally worth it. If you are studying something that you are passionate about, it shouldn't be hard to direct that energy into your schoolwork.

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