The #MeToo movement, Times Up, and many more actions have penetrated every sphere of life.
Whether you are on Twitter, watching a TV show, on Facebook, on Instagram, getting extra training from your work, everything comes down to the fact that sexual assault is still a problem. A while ago, I wrote about how appalling it was to see that sexual assault is still a rampant problem, even though, we have infinitely more knowledge and understanding that it's wrong.
Most women I know have been sexually assaulted, harassed, or had other inappropriate, uncalled for instances happen to them. I realized I am one of them when the #MeToo movement happened.
What saddens me most lately, is that my own university didn't protect it's students, like Michigan State didn't protect theirs. They took the word of a man over a woman. They cared more about the money and image of what running a "business" like USC is like instead of protecting what it was actually established for "a place of learning."
The LA Times has been covering the story constantly for the past five days. Dr. Tynell was a gynecologist at USC for more than 30 years. It's standard protocol for a male gynecologist to bring a female nurse or witness into the room to make sure the women there feel and are safe. For years, there were complaints by the nurses in the rooms and the women on the table but guess what: NOTHING WAS DONE.
All of the complaints were handled independently by the last director of our health center. The last director blatantly ignored the comments and let more and more be in danger. Since the opening of hotlines to gain tips about what happened with Tynell, 200 people have called. That's over 200 people who might have been victims or know a victim.
How are students supposed to trust USC to handle these problems?
How are students supposed to feel safe at USC?
This is just one of many scandals that have happened within the past year, but this one hits close to come. Many of my friends and peers have gone to the health center, trusting that they would receive the best care. We should be able to trust in the health professionals and professors vetted by USC to work with its students.
Title IX did a five-year investigation into how USC handles sexual assault and we passed the inspection within this past year. Turns out, USC shouldn't have.
I don't trust USC to handle these problems anymore.
The professors of USC don't either. A petition has been circling since this happened and over 200 professors have signed. They want President C.L. Max Nikias to resign immediately because he should have protected students far better than he did. Nikias is great about finding money for the school but not much more. The professors are more willing to see the need and how it should be fixed than the trustees, who only care about the money Nikias provides.
Students should be able to trust in their school to help them when things go wrong and we know of at least 6 women from this situation that weren't helped. How many more are there?
How is the university going to fix this?
I have no idea. Is the first step to fire President Nikias, maybe. But this is for USC to figure out, not it's students. They have wronged us, not the other way around.
Can USC even figure it out because their lack of competency to take immediate actions is part of what got them into this mess?
Ultimately, USC has failed their students.