Letters for October 23, 2014

UC Davis responds to ‘rape’ cover

Re “Does UC Davis have a rape problem?” by Janelle Bitker (SN&R Feature Story, October 16):

As the UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor, I want to assure your readers and the public at large that at the university we have a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to sexual violence.

Sexual assault is a very serious crime of violence that each and every one of us has a responsibility to combat. The women about whom you wrote have our deepest sympathy.

When there is an allegation of sexual assault, our campus is committed to investigate thoroughly and professionally. We are likewise committed to doing our very best to treat any victims with the utmost respect and dignity and to hold perpetrators fully accountable. We want every member of the community to know what resources are available to support victims of sexual assault, and we want to ensure that any victim or witness is willing to come forward and report a crime.

As your article points out, sexual assaults are a problem around the nation. A great deal of attention has been focused on colleges and universities. At UC Davis, we will never stop striving to do everything we can to keep all of our students safe and to educate all members of the UC Davis community about how we must work together toward that end.

Ralph Hexter

provost and executive vice chancellor, UC Davis

Give readers a warning

Re “Does UC Davis have a rape problem?” by Janelle Bitker (SN&R Feature Story, October 16):

Every week, me and my partner make sure to grab a copy of SN&R. This week, I was surprised to see the shock-and-awe cover story about rape at UC Davis. As much as I think the story and interviews were salient and good reading material, I would recommend, as a survivor of assault, placing a warning or note to readers that the content of the article may trigger or cause a trigger for survivors of assault. I couldn’t read the first paragraph without feeling trauma return, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only reader who felt so.

Marianne Candela


Rape-law problems?

Re “Does UC Davis have a rape problem?” by Janelle Bitker (SN&R Feature Story, October 16):

I in no way want to diminish the importance of charging and prosecuting rape. However, a couple of things in Janelle Bitker’s piece are problematic. In her first example, she cites a rape that occurred at 3 a.m. at an off-campus apartment. It’s rape, but why would that be UC Davis’ responsibility? That belongs to the police. That they happened to both be students is irrelevant. What if they both worked at the same pizzeria? Would their employer be responsible?

Daniel Westover


How sexist

Re “Topsy-turvy: An analysis of the Sacramento city school board races, part one” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, October 16):

Your story about the Sacramento city school-board election in Area 1 focuses mostly on the involvement of the teachers’ union. But what caught my eye was the outrageous statement made by Jay Hansen about his opponent, Anna Molander. Did he really say, she’s “a nice person, but she couldn’t think her way out of a box on some of this stuff”? What? Does he really think all those “raging hormones” or kids or some other woman-thing messes up our brains?! How contemptuous and sexist is that?

Karen Humphrey


Sacramento National Women’s Political Caucus

Kill the film critic?

Re “Kill the Messenger” by Daniel Barnes (SN&R Short Film Review, October 16):

This is in response to the movie review for Kill the Messenger by Daniel Barnes, who gave it a poor rating. I just saw it and I give it a very good rating. I almost didn’t go see it because of Barnes’ review, so I want to be sure that other readers don’t make that mistake. I didn’t think that Jeremy Renner’s character behaved “like a character in a silly movie” at all. Far from it. His performance was riveting, as was the whole movie. I’m glad I decided to see the movie based on the September 25 cover story by Melinda Welsh.

Janet Mercurio