It should be one of the proudest moments of any parent’s life to send a child off to their dream school. College should be a safe place for them to learn, grow, and come into their own. However, there is a secret elite four-year universities have kept. One they have silenced and bought themselves out of for years. But no more.
The new documentary “The Hunting Ground” puts a face to a small group of women and men who have been raped and ignored by university administrators or told to cease and desist their complaints.
Students from UC Berkeley, Stanford, Notre Dame and various other schools go on record in the movie to describe their attacks and the impossible task it of getting their case taken seriously. Instead they were asked how much they had been drinking, why they didn’t stop their 200-pound assailant or “What would you have done differently?”
Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering give frightening statistics on campus rape. It has come to a point where one-time rapists turn into serial rapists and commit multiple violations knowing they won’t face serious consequences.
The documentary in particular follows Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino, who became activists against sexual assault after both were raped during their time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
After finding a loophole against an almost 100-year-old university policy on rape, Clark and Pino became pillars of strength for other activists on the other side of the country at UC Berkeley.
Not only does “The Hunting Ground” try to raise awareness at the rising numbers of campus rapes, it also exposes how four-year universities aren’t always working in the best interests of its students.
Universities are first and foremost interested in protecting their reputation and image as they try and sell their product.
Fraternities getting out of hand and making the news isn’t anything new. Fraternities can’t be removed indefinitely because they operate separately from universities and donate large sums to that school.
Millions of dollars are invested in college football as well. “The Hunting Ground” goes into detail about the case of Jameis Winston, a college football star at the Florida State. His accuser was, on multiple occasions, pressured into not pressing charges until she finally decided to drop out.
It wasn’t until a second accuser came forward that accusations were taken seriously. Yet, whether he will face any charges now that he is one of the top NFL draft picks this year is another story.
Successful graduates like Winston are also examples of how much universities rely on their alumni network as another major source of annual donations.
So next time, when you think your dream school is looking out for your best interests, research some of the facts, go watch “The Hunting Ground” and witness the courage of these so-called “victims” as they try to put a stop to campus rape.