in the words of an Amherst College friend: As a five college community we talk so much about Amherst College policy, which is incredibly important, but it often means we miss how far behind our neighboring institutions are in the pursuit of justice.
TW: sexual assault, rape
Today is December 10, 2013, and I was just informed of the repercussions for the man that raped me nearly 2 years ago.
Unfortunately for me, the rapist, Lale Labuko Zino, is a sweet Hampshire dream child. Thanks to his founding of an organization called Omo Child, he is held in high esteem and largely revered by both faculty and students of the college. This means that during the time I spent on Hampshire campus it was apparently quite unbelievable that such a ~wonderful~ person could do such a thing.
I attended Hampshire College for only three semesters, dropping out because of the pressure and anxiety induced by the rape itself and the community attitude towards my offender. Recently I had been entertaining the idea of returning to Hampshire to complete my studies, however the idea of attending a school where rape is taken so lightly completely sickens me.
As of today, he has been convicted of sexual assault only; not convicted of sexual harassment, threatening and intimidating behavior, or physical endangerment – three things cannot be separated from rape in any sense. The “punishment” for sexual assault is as follows:
“Lale is no longer permitted to live in campus housing, effective December 17, 2013 (the close of housing for the fall 2013 semester) for the duration of his time as a Hampshire student.
Removal from housing means he may remain an actively enrolled student, but he is only allowed to use the academic resources of the College. He may only use the buildings and resources necessary to complete academic work. He is prohibited from any social gatherings on campus, formal or informal, or any events that are not a requirement of his academic work. Any requests to be on campus for anything other than class, a meeting with his faculty, or academic work (e.g., studying in the library) must be approved in advance.”
I am appalled and offended by Hampshire's policy on rape in the community and can only hope that a rapist allowed to interact with the community in which he committed the atrocious crimes will hurt nobody else.
While this is not the place to share specifics, I am more than willing to discuss my experiences regarding both Lale Labuko Zino and the Hampshire community during this ordeal. Right now I am working towards finding my next steps to assure I am comfortable with the ramifications of my rape on Hampshire’s campus, and for all incidents in the future.