Sexual Assault is prevailing at Chico State


Photo credit: Roberto Fonseca

When my older brother graduated high school, he got a pat on the back. After I graduated from high school, I was given pepper spray before coming to Chico. Sexual assault is hard to talk about, but it’s a conversation long overdue on this campus.

We all know the stats. On average one in five women will experience sexual assault during her college career. We all received the mass email alerting us that someone reported a rape at the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house Feb. 5.

Everyone on campus is warned repeatedly about the infamous “Rape Trail.” A warning is not sufficient for the students of Chico State. A Chico landmark should not be known for the sexual assaults that occur there.

Yes, last spring cameras were installed on the path, but some would say that was too little too late. According to, Chico had 31 rape cases in 2008 and that number is steadily growing.

Chico State’s annual security report from 2016 states in 2013 there were four on-campus rapes. In 2014 and 2015 there were three assaults each year.

Chico State LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association Lindsay Briggs, vice chair and professor, said she felt people were unable to speak up about their experiences.

“I think we have lots of data to show that groups of men tend to be hyper-masculine,” Briggs said. “It makes men who know it’s not an okay thing or a safe thing- it discourages them from speaking up due to hyper-masculinity.”

Even though not all college-aged men will assault someone or even think about the heinous action, almost all women will face some type of sexual assault or harassment during their college career.

As students, we pay thousands of dollars to learn in a safe environment. Normalizing deviant sexual behavior allows people like Brock Turner to face a lesser sentence for terrible actions.

Rape is not “20 minutes of action,” contrary to popular belief. Imagine if Turner had a professor at Stanford University who lectured him on consent and rape culture. Maybe he wouldn’t have committed the crime that he did and maybe he would feel remorse for his actions.

Providing Chico State students with a more solid educational background on sexual assault is essential. Students need to be more educated and equipped to notice flaws in our thinking regarding sexual assault and rape culture. By this, I mean a required class instead of Not Anymore’ which doesn’t include everything we should be educated on and is just seen as another tedious task for students.

Sexual assault is a very serious thing that has been overlooked by society. Let’s not forget that for each email and police report we see about sexual assault cases happening on campus is a serious event that greatly affect the remainder of people’s lives.

Katharine Glennon can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

Correction: An earlier version of this article implied that Brock Turner’s father “committed horrendous acts.” The article has been corrected.