Helping Students or Covering Their Butts, Pace Admins Choose the Latter


Pace University administrators continue to claim that the decisions and choices they make are in the best interest of the students. The administration, however, seems constantly to be misrepresenting facts and hiding the truth in order to save their own reputation, as well that of the university, in making these decisions public.

These decisions have been made in the wake of poor behavior on the part of the students, including a sexual assault, underage drinking, and the mentality associated with Townhouse Day. However, the administration has provided little to no evidence or transparency for the actions that they have taken in regards to that behavior.

Why is it that the administration hides the truth about sexual assaults that occur not only here on the Pleasantville campus, but also on the New York City campus? Why are newspapers the only source of investigation into recent issues that can be presented to students?

With a sexual assault occurring last year on Townhouse Day and another occurring on the city campus, the administration turns the blame on students for acting irresponsibly. While that may be true, when does the administration ever mention the lack of understanding and apparent maltreatment they gave to those involved?

Many have read the article published by the Huffington Post regarding Pace’s unclear policies in reporting sexual assault, and how one unfortunate female victim from the New York City campus was forced to suffer through a legal process that she did not seek.

And, what about the male and female involved in the sexual assault that occurred last spring during Townhouse Day on the Pleasantville campus? Few students were even aware of its existence when arguing for the event’s continuation, a fact which was deliberately withheld from all conversation and could have helped students develop more informed opinions.

We have yet to hear either story from someone of authority at the university.

When given the opportunity to address the matter in an e-mail sent to students in mid-September about sexual assault, our deans of students spoke only of federal agendas, failing to acknowledge its relevance on our own campus.

The resulting campus-wide efforts to “address” the issue of sexual assault have been futile at best, speaking in broad and legal terms which ignore its very presence at Pace. Presentations are purely conceptual, shying away from the topic’s severity and often containing an element of university promotion.

Perhaps the most telling initiative is the administration’s embrace of Step Up Bystander Training, a program that uplifts the passive bystander and diverts all attention from the parties involved.

The administration has tried to bury the events that took place by cancelling Townhouse Day under the umbrella rationale that the “university can no longer support” the event and cannot “condone the behavior” of students.

What response did they expect from students with such vagueness? Did they truly think students would blindly assume responsibility for an event that the school had conspicuously facilitated for years?

Why is it only now that they are taking a stance?

Yes, student safety is important, but that is also why it is important for students to understand the reasoning behind the cancellation.

When the administration makes a decision without student consultation (especially regarding an event that students plan), providing no evidence as to their reasoning, it is pretty clear that students will make waves to uncover the truth.

In regard to sexual assault, we will see how the administration responds further. But, as for right now, they are doing a poor job of both helping students and covering their butts. Perhaps, they should reevaluate which plan is more favorable.