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No/Yes

The main event last night for new First Years was:

KATIE KOESTNER- “No/Yes” Chapin Hall

Katie Koestner, a Virginia State-trained peer educator and sexual assault counselor, tells her story of date-rape and speaks about sexual assault prevention.

Followed by entry discussion. Both the presentation and the discussions were mandatory. You can read much more about Koestner here. Seems like the presentation at Williams was this one:

In this emotionally gripping presentation, Katie discusses her journey from victim to survivor. Interweaving her own story with vignettes from survivors across the country, Katie offers a three-fold message of successful sexual communication, responsibility in the use of drugs and alcohol, and respect, for self and for peers. Seeing sexual assault through Katie’s eyes enables students to challenge stereotypes and confront conventional beliefs and behaviors. Her emotionally charged talk creates an environment of understanding, and helps to lay the groundwork for proactive, long-term behavioral transformation. Katie puts date rape on a level that everyone can feel, and to which anyone can relate.

All of this is extremely topical at Williams because of the Foster acquital. It appears that Foster, now ’06, is back on campus for the fall term. I wonder what his take on the presentation would be?

Certainly events like this and Take Back the Night are well and good, although I would be curious to hear reactions to Koestner’s speech. But much of this is preaching to the choir, as it were. If you want to decrease the incidence of date rape at Williams, then you need to change the attitudes and perceptions of the men, however few or many there may be, who are capable of such an act. My own suggestion on how do so is here.

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#1 Comment By Lee Altman ’93 On September 3, 2004 @ 9:30 am

I find it odd that so few Williams students transfer to other universities. During my time, I saw a few Ephs suspended for various offenses, and they always came back. Regardless of the details of the case, it must be difficult to stay on such a small campus, after such an incident.

As for the sexual assault counseling, I know we had it in ’89. I think we took it seriously then, but I think the main issue at Williams is heavy drinking. Almost all of the ugly behavior I witnessed, involved large amounts of alcohol. And once people are drunk, they tend to forget their training.