Response to a letter by ASAP on drink spiking

Dear ASAP,

In your response to the Tufts email on Drink Spiking, which was published in the Tufts Daily on March 7, you stated that you were “appalled by the email” and called it “harmful” and “unproductive.” While you geared up to throw a tantrum, I think you missed the point.

Yes, drink spiking is an important problem. Yes, the perpetrators are the ones who need to be punished. Yes, there should be support for survivors. These are not trivial issues, and the email addressed all of those things.

First, the email alerted all members of the Tufts community to the fact that drink spiking is not only a problem, but it’s a problem that’s happening here. That alone facilitates conversation, which can lead to the culture of high community standards that you desire. The knowledge that Tufts is taking these cases seriously and investigating them could also help encourage a victim to come forward. That can aid the investigation and help catch the perpetrators, who can then be held responsible, which is one of your goals as an organization. Additionally, I personally was unaware that drink spiking was a widespread issue on our campus, but I am glad that I have that knowledge: Now I am empowered to protect myself. As a side note, this email did more to tell me about the problem than your website did. As of March 10, the “Does it happen here?” page on tuftsasap.org greets viewers with four words: “does,” “it,” “happen” and “here.”

Second, you stated that “[b]y not explicitly condemning perpetrators, [the administration has] named these behaviors acceptable in an email to the entire Tufts community.” This accusation is, quite frankly, absurd. The email specifically states that “[s]piking or drugging a drink is illegal, regardless of intent” and “[w]e are currently investigating these incidents.” It also includes a link for contacting TUPD. Anyone who was accepted to this university should be able to make the deduction that Tufts does not condone this behavior. Furthermore, you request that Tufts “explicitly state that perpetrators must stop.” That verbal slap on the wrist isn’t going to stop anyone.

Third, your claim that the email “offered no resources for survivors of the drink spiking incidents” is objectively false. The email included a link to information about drink spiking from the Center for Awareness, Resources, and Education (C.A.R.E.) as well as a link to EthicsPoint, a system for anonymous reporting. It also had links for contacting TUPD, the Office for Equal Opportunity and the Dean of Student Affairs office. For the record, I did contact someone from the OEO regarding this email. She responded within about five minutes and this was outside of business hours. The resources are there and the people are willing to listen. I would also like to point out that on the “Resources for Survivors” page of your website, tuftsasap.org, you list only the C.A.R.E. website as a resource. If that’s good enough for your site, why isn’t that (and more) good enough for this email?

Finally, when you are finished throwing your tantrum about the drink spiking email, please think about this: Who are you going to complain to after you graduate? In the real world, there is no Tufts administration at which you can throw a fit. And in the real world, we’re going to have to watch our own backs. Should that be the culture? No. And, just to be clear, am I endorsing that culture by stating its existence?  No. But while the idyllic community that you describe, in which individuals will not commit a crime simply by knowing that is one, doesn’t exist, it’s not a bad thing for Tufts to make us aware of the situation and recommend that we take precautions.

Sincerely,

A student who was appalled by your response and found it harmful and unproductive

Editor’s note: If you would like to send your response or make an Op-Ed contribution to the Opinion section, please email us at tuftsdailyoped@gmail.com. The Opinion section looks forward to hearing from you.


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