Recently, I went to a showing of a new documentary called, “The Hunting Ground.” The purpose of the film is to raise awareness of what is described as an epidemic of sexual assault of men and women on college campuses.
According to the documentary, one in five female college students and one in 33 male students is sexually assaulted on campuses each year. The majority of the college students interviewed for the documentary were women. They discussed how their universities responded to their sexual assault allegations by often ignoring or dismissing their complaints, or treating them like the guilty parties.
I was, first, surprised by the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. I was even more surprised by the response, or lack thereof, by many university administrators. Because the women were courageous to come forward with such serious complaints, it was hard for me to understand how some universities could sit still and not fully investigate their allegations.
Hopefully, this film creates a significant positive change with respect to the culture on college campuses. In my dream world, “The Hunting Ground” would be mandatory for all freshmen going into college, as well as college administrators, to watch — just as viewing drug and alcohol prevention videos is mandatory in many colleges.
I hope by the time I get to college, universities will have made progress in creating a space where it is safe for everyone to live and learn. Part of solving a problem is acknowledging its existence, and in my opinion, that is exactly what the “Hunting Ground” is achieving.
By youth blogger, Jenna Schulman, a ninth grade student at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.
“The Hunting Ground” is being screened Monday, September 21, at 6:30 p.m., at the Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. A post-film discussion will be led by Donna Dunn, member of The Advocates’ Women’s Advisory Committee. The film is being presented as part of the Women’s Human Rights Film Series, made possible through a partnership between The Advocates for Human Rights and The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Check here for the list of films being presented now through November.