“Not again. Please, not again.” These are the words I whisper to myself as I read an email sent to me from Texas A&M University – Kingsville campus police, informing me that yet another sexual assault has taken place on our campus. Our campus, a place designed to serve as a haven where tomorrow’s leaders can come together to learn, create, thrive and grow as individuals in a safe and orderly manner, has sadly also become home to certain individuals who have proved just how low some human beings can sink. On September 5, 2016, in Martin Hall, an innocent young woman’s life was forever changed, as she fell victim to a man who chose to entertain the depravity in his mind—who chose to lose self-control and decency and succumb to a mindset so vile, that I’m tempted to wonder how he can live with himself going forward. I can only hope and pray that the hammer of justice is brought down so swiftly and heavily upon him that maybe, just maybe, he will be so shaken and disturbed by his actions, he will change his ways, and encourage others to exercise self-control, even if it’s in the form of letters written from a jail cell.
An act like this can tell you a lot about the current condition of men in our society—men driven by lust, pride, and desire, with absolutely no amount of self-control whatsoever. Just a few weeks ago, Brock Turner’s name gained nationwide recognition as the public became aware of his actions. He, too, committed an act of unspeakable evil in the form of rape. The then-Stanford University Freshman sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a party on their college campus, and, after eventually being found guilty of this heinous act, for which he might have served a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, he instead will only serve six months. Six months, and then his life will go on.
But what of the young woman—the victim? How is she to move forward? Think of her, her parents, her family. Think of the excitement her and her family shared when she received her acceptance letter to Stanford University versus now, when I’m sure she wishes that campus never existed. Her life will never be the same.
To my fellow students, I tell you this: stand up; speak out, and act! Be aware of your surroundings. Understand that there are truly evil people in this world, in your city, on your campus. If you see suspicious acts taking place, then do something about it. Alert the authorities, and prepare for the worst in any situation. I know, for many, college is seen as a time when we let loose and have a good time, but I plead with you to snap out of that mindset. Do the right thing; prioritize; be aware. For every act of evil you see take place, counteract with acts of good.
To the TAMUK student who committed the sexual assault, and to Brock Tuner, who’ll soon escape a proper prison sentence, I tell you this: You make think you’ve won, but evil will always lose in the end. You are both cowards and truly represent the lowest state a man can sink to. I hope the decision you both made made haunts you both for the rest of your lives, and that somehow, you both can change.
To the victims of these heinous crimes, I tell you this: You’re never alone. Though the majority of us have no idea how painful your life may be at the moment, I want you to know that we the people, the ordinary citizens, who aren’t blinded by the overreaching arm of an oftentimes corrupt judicial system, stand with you. And we always will. #DoTheRightThing
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke