Letter: My sister’s keeper

Taylor Tougaw

Bullies are the prime examples of what it means to be a coward. They attack those who are physically weaker or significantly different. Have you ever seen a bully pick on someone bigger and stronger than they are? Of course not. They do not have the courage to do so.

The worst bully-cowards in higher education are those who prey on the trust of their colleagues – the female students of their institution. I am truly saddened by the stories of friends whose daughters have been sexually victimized during their time in higher education. The situations vary: they may have made poor choices in their drinking or smoking habits, or more sinister, they may have been incapacitated by unknown substances. The reasons do not matter; the physical, psychological, and emotional damage done to them is what matters.

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“Manhood” is defined in a variety of ways. I would prefer the term to reflect the human qualities we would like to see in our fathers, sons, husbands, and significant others. Too often the bar is set so low that “manhood” is interpreted as strength, appearance, and sexual conquest.

I truly pity the “man” who must use force, intoxication, or chemicals for sexual conquest. I wonder what it must be like to wake up every morning knowing how little you have to offer others, and how little respect others must have for you and you must have for yourself. The “real men” and women of CSU have a sacred responsibility to protect the vulnerable and prevent the efforts of those who prey – no matter their strength and size, and no matter the relationship you might have with them.

As a father of wonderful daughters and friend to parents whose daughters attend CSU for the promise of a memorable life experience they will never forget, I humbly submit the following advice:

  1. choose your friends wisely
    – ones who value your friendship and your welfare;
  2. in a social setting learn
    to read your situation and the people around you;
  3. though socially
    acceptable, drinking and smoking should not be a mind-altering, or unconscious,
    experience;
  4. make yourself aware of the
    wealth of great professionals and services available to you at CSU to help
    you at all times and for all reasons; and,
  5. remember why you are at
    CSU in the first place.

Be safe and have a wonderful CSU experience and make us, and yourself, proud.

A Concerned Old Fogey,

Eric Reno