Help us find the answers

What the hell is wrong with people?

This was one of the first things that came to mind Thursday after receiving the university’s FlashLine advisory about an alleged sexual assault.

After hearing that three men — and we apply this word loosely — forcibly restrained and sexually assaulted a woman, it’s easy to lose hope in humanity.

This woman is a member of the human race, and human beings do not do this to each other. It’s disgusting, it’s without any consideration or compassion for others and it’s frightening.

What could possess someone, let alone three people, to do such a thing? At what point during that night did those three think, “Hey, you know what sounds like a good idea?” We want to say that such a thing is inconceivable, but that’s not true. We know at least three people think that way.

At this point, there are more questions than answers and we’re at a loss. The job of a newspaper is to answer the questions for the readers, not leave the questions up to them. But perhaps that is the answer — or at least, part of it.

We don’t know the details of that night. We don’t know who, where or, most importantly, why. We hope the woman has already received medical care and has filed a report with the police so they can arrest these men and stop them from repeating their crime.

What can we, as a society, do to stop this from happening again? We’ve talked to the police and campus security about how to stay safe at night. We’ve talked to a rape crisis center about how to deal with the aftermath of such an attack. But being reactive is not enough. We need to take greater strides to be proactive, to prevent this from happening again.

To do that, we need your help. Talk to us. E-mail us. Tell us how you feel about safety on campus and around Kent. Do you feel safe? What questions do you want us to ask and of whom?

We feel it is our responsibility to look out for the student body and help whenever and however possible. Thankfully, we know we aren’t alone. Though the Feminist Union is temporarily disbanded, this university has countless other student groups that can help. Someone, anyone, needs to host the Take Back the Night march again. It doesn’t matter who.

To PRIDE!Kent, Queer Liberation Front, Black United Students, Kent State NAACP, Kent Anti-Racist Action, Undergraduate Student Senate and every Greek organization: You can host Take Back the Night. You all either have women as part of your organizations or closely tied to your groups. This is a way you can help protect them. If you are for gender equality and safety, you are a feminist.

This assault is not an isolated incident. It happens all too often on and near college campuses. The sad thing is, it’s easily prevented. We don’t mean that women need to protect themselves. We mean that it’s easy for men to prevent this. If men, for whatever reason, think that this is the right thing, or even a fun thing to do, they need to stop and think. Honestly, think about it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.