KSU students react to remarks on sexual assault

By Pete Combs Kennesaw, GA —  Students at Kennesaw State University seemed to have…

Georgia (Jan 24, 2014) — By Pete Combs


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Kennesaw, GA — 

Students at Kennesaw State University seemed to have a hard time believing President Barack Obama’s assertion that more than one in five women on American campuses have been sexually attacked.

“It seems like a high number,” said a young woman who identified herself as an undeclared 18-year old freshman. “But I wonder what defines a sexual assault.”

“It does surprise me,” said a 21-year old female sophomore majoring in Social Sciences. “I guess stuff happens.”

And if that seems a little indifferent to the issue of sexual assault on campus, consider the way a young man majoring in finance viewed the president’s concern:  “It demonizes men and victimizes women,” said the 19-year old.

Another young man, a 29-year old accounting major, said to lower the number of sexual assaults on campus, as the president hopes to do by appointing a task force to act on the issue, much of campus culture will have to change.

“Say your friend is hassling a girl,” he posited. “You should be able to speak up and say, ‘Hey, what you’re doing isn’t appropriate. You need to tone it down and step back.’”

That is exactly the aim of a program just being adopted at KSU called “Green Dot.” The idea is to make bystanders feel empowered to intervene.

“If they hear a rape joke, instead of laughing and then feeling uncomfortable, speaking up and saying, ‘That’s not acceptable,’” said Associate Professor of Psychology Corrine McNamara, who has studied in depth the issues surrounding interpersonal violence on the KSU campus. Green Dot, an expensive program to adopt, will be rolled out soon at the university in Kennesaw, she said.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu