Over the last decade, sexual assault involving college students has been a reoccurring problem. These assaults tend to happen on campus, as well as in off-campus houses during
parties. This presents the question, what can students do in party-like situations or residential situations where sexual assault is possible? What if there was a system to help women and men who feel uncomfortable in these situations? In the United Kingdom, there is a poster campaign called “Ask for Angela.”
The idea around the campaign is that if a woman goes to a bar with a man, and she feels unsafe, she can ask the bartender for “Angela”and the bartender will call someone to get her out and home safely. So why can’t the same be done on college campuses?
In college there are no shortage of house parties, if the people living in the house were to come up with some word for both men and women to use in dangerous situations, then they could at least intervene in the situation or if the situation was severe enough, they could get the person in danger out of the house. “I think it’s actually a really good system because it happens to a lot of girls, especially in college,” Sophomore Auli’i Mahuna said. “The people throwing the party should be responsible for ensuring that everyone is safe. This system would be a good way to protect the safety of others.” Other students found the idea to be unrealistic considering that some students may not know the people having the party.
“I feel that a safe word wouldn’t work as well if you don’t know the people living in the house. However, I do feel like people should travel in groups to parties and there should be a safe word between the group,” Sophomore Riley Petersen said.
On the other hand, some students are more concerned with a system that would work in the residence halls. This operation could be as simple as having a phone number students can text, which would notify Campus Public Safety (CPS). CPS would then come and intervene with the situation. “I like the idea, but there are issues with how long it would take for either a Resident Assistant or a CPS officer to get to the situation,” Junior Resident Assistant Kaela Collins said. “By then an assault could’ve already taken place.” Despite the few who are skeptical, many students have found this idea interesting and are even starting to spread word to their friends. Some students have already developed words within their circle of friends in order to protect each other in dangerous situations.