Hello, I am John Terry and I am running for the alderman position here in the 8th District. What I am going to write about is something that is a very big concern on the campus and other campuses nationwide. And that is sexual assaults.
When I had my first debate, the question was presented to me about sexual assaults and what I think should be done about them. I did not know how to answer it, I gave pat answers: Walk in pairs, do not get to intoxicated, be aware of your surroundings, etc. That was not the answer they were looking for.
As I became more involved in my campaign I started to talk to various people, mostly women, about sexual assaults and I was sorely unprepared for what I heard. There are one in four assaults that are reported, and the numbers are higher, much higher. In 2016 the number of assaults at UW rose from 217 to 325. That is quite a leap. Let's be honest about this — we are talking about rape. Sexual assault sounds so generic, almost sterile. There was an article in one of the campus newspapers about just that.
More than two-thirds of the rapes are confidential, I or the newspaper did not have access to what happened or how. I can respect that, but there are 15 that I can talk about, and I will. Of the 15, four were found to be "not responsible," six were found to be "responsible." Out of those six, two were put on academic probation, three were suspended and one was expelled. None of those sounds like any kind of rough justice — it sounds like to me that anyone who happens to rape a woman, there are no consequences.
If I, John Alan Terry, Jr., treated a woman in any kind of inappropriate sexual way, I would be arrested, have my fingerprints taken, have my picture taken for a mugshot, taken to jail and await my trial date, as well I should be.
I would like to know why more cases are not reported to the proper authorities, mainly the police department, either the Madison police or the university police. I have asked this question to a lot of women on campus, and they all feel the same way — that the university does not really care about what happens to them. All of the women I asked said that! What does that tell you? I wonder: What does the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards feel about these very light sentences given to the above-mentioned students who were found to "not reflect the campus standards" that they are so proud of.
Let's get this straight. We are talking about people here: living, breathing, thinking people. Someone's daughter, someone's sister, a woman of self-worth, someone who all she asks for is to be treated with the dignity and respect. Nothing more, nothing less.
If I am elected the status quo will change! There are some who think that they are above the law, that they can do as they will, boys will be boys. Langdon Street, anything East of Lake, is in the city of Madison, and there have been instances where women were assaulted at one of the frat houses and the only thing that happened was the university took away their chapter: Once again no consequences. What should have happened is the police should be called, the police should treat it as a crime scene and the Dane County DA should decide what if any charges should be given, not the university and their student standards committee.
If I am elected I will work my damnedest to make changes in that regard. The status quo be damned.