I feel compelled to respectfully respond to WolfS. While I agree that Piepmeier should have disclosed her employment, I must agree and support her assertion that College of Charleston administration has taken serious and meaningful actions to assist victims and prevent these situations.
From personal experience, one of my dearest friends at the College was the victim of a violent sexual assault at the hands of an upperclassmen in a position of "esteem." After immediately taking my friend to College of Charleston's own Office of Victim Services (which is open 24 hours a day), we were IMMEDIATELY offered the opportunity to file charges with public safety. I stayed with my friend, while a caring and compassionate OVS staff member talked them through this trauma. Within an hour, my friend had an appointment with the head of student affairs for all of the College of Charleston, where discipline and reaction was swift, sincere, and in a tone that always reflected genuine concern and interest.
Additionally, counseling is offered, completely free of charge, to ALL College of Charleston students. We also have 24 hour emergency counseling rights and free support groups for people like me, who struggled with ways to help a friend with such a traumatic experience.
The College of Charleston, like many universities before it and sadly after it, struggle to handle victimization and sexual assaults. While this case fell through the cracks and past administrations, no one talks about that CARE rep. who sat with us. No one mentions the dean of student affairs and their efforts. They saved and rescued my friend, who wouldn't have had the courage to address their victimization. They listened to two scared nineteen year olds, who felt that they had nowhere else to turn.
I'm grateful to the College of Charleston. While they've done wrong, that was indisputable effort and a level of compassion we wouldn't have found anywhere else. Piepmeier may misrepresent herself by omission, but her argument is truth.
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