Monday, November 21, 2005

Why Harvard IS Better Than Yale

As much as we hate the color crimson (except when used to hold up a sign that reads: "Harvard Sucks") and as bummed as we were about losing to Harvard in football AGAIN, we must commend Harvard for being better than Yale at something: Sexual Assault Response.

Three years ago, after mounting pressure from students and faculty members, Harvard University centralized its sexual harassment and assault resources to create the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. The office is the one place where all students can go to learn about their legal options, to receive emotional and physical care, and to make sure they have a trained individual whose sole responsibility is to be the survivor's advocate. At Yale, on the other hand, students (even those, like freshmen counselors, who are trained to be student resources) have no idea where to go in the case of a sexual assault. The administration has no straight answer either; there are too many options and no central authority on the pros and cons of each option. Yale's twenty-four hour services are less than sufficient; the Sexual Harassment Grievance Board (a place many survivors are sent) does not have disciplinary power like Ex-Com does and does not report statistics; Yale-New Haven and DUH clinicians do not know the legal ramifications of certain medical choices; the list goes on.

Shouldn't we have someone who can bring together all this information??! Perhaps Yale could use a lesson from its rival school.

For more information check out Harvard's website and if you want to help us push for change at Yale, come to Rape and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP). The meetings are at 9pm on Wednesdays at the Women's Center.


bulldog2 said...

This really is a glaring deficiency in Yale's resources. Recently a student organization I am involved in found it necessary to create an organization policy to deal with sexual assaults. (We all know how hard it can be for survivors to go to exisitng authorities, and we felt that we needed a way to protect the space of the group without involving the administration.) While I did speak to my dean, the most helpful person I spoke to was at the Harvard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office. As an expert independant of the administration, she was able to offer both advice from the perspective of both a sexual assault crisis counselor and a bureaucratic advocate. When Yalies have to go to Harvard to get the help they need, something is very wrong.

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Anonymous said...

I attended Harvard as an undergraduate and Yale as a graduate student, and I can say that Harvard is infinitely superior to Yale by every measure. The ratio of university endowment to student is vastly greater at Harvard than at Yale. The size of Harvard's library holdings dwarfs those of Yale. The academic freedom given Harvard students is huge, while Yale students are hemmed in by unnecessary restrictions. Harvard draws a truly international group of students, while Yale students are mainly rich kids from New York. When I was a teaching assistant at Yale, I could not believe how low the level of student intelligence was compared to what I had learned to expect at Harvard. I studied in Europe after leaving Yale, and while everyone, everywhere knew and respected Harvard, many European academics had never even heard of Yale.

That there is even a debate about whether Harvard or Yale is better is unbelievable.