Students slut-shamed on campus

By Olivia Boyd

News Editor

Amber Peralta mumbled under her breath in an empty Swan classroom as she remembered being slut-shamed earlier that day for wearing a mid-thigh romper on an 80-degree day.

“I felt bad about myself for the first time in a long time, it made me feel disgusting with myself and it made me not want to wear what I was wearing anymore,” said sophomore Peralta who had been commented on by a group of passing girls on campus. “I’m just mad that girls would do that because we are supposed to be supporting each other and lifting each other up for expressing ourselves, but instead we tear each other down.”

A look of realization came to Angelina Giglio’s face as she recalled comments she had received from community members for the way she dressed on stage.

“We’ll get emails from the community, which I think is a little sketchy that they don’t pay attention to anything we said or did, but they want to comment on how short my dress was which is uncomfortable for one and two completely uncalled for because we all dress pretty modestly,” said Giglio, a junior music major, with a visibly uncomfortable look on her face.

Both Peralta and Giglio experienced a form of slut-shaming, which can be the act of commenting negatively on or assuming the person is wearing the clothing for a sexual purpose.

“I would define slut shaming as criticizing girls for the actions they have done sexually or what people they think they have done, the way they dress, or their behavior,” said sophomore Grace Seeley.

The belief of many students and faculty is slut shaming and sexual harassment are actions done predominately towards females and if assaulted, it is done by men.

“People tend to use sexual promiscuity as a reason or excuse for a man’s behavior,” said Nichole Gonzalez, deputy title IX coordinator for Student Affairs. “They will also use how a woman is dressed, or the fact that she was intoxicated, or in a room alone with a man, as excuses for the man’s behavior, because ‘what did she expect was going to happen?’”

While women are the primary target for physical appearance, there are still men who are also shamed, while not for their clothing but for their actions.

“I have been slut shamed because I’m comfortable with my body, but it isn’t as hard for me as it is for a woman because it remains a title in the eyes of many once she’s labeled a slut,” said sophomore Dajour Fisher who also added that slut-shaming is something both genders must overcome. Fisher has been shamed by both genders for his actions.

Several students believed that slut-shaming occurred because a person feels threatened and decided to lash out because they see something different.

“I think it might happen because people feel threatened and they see someone and say, ‘Oh I wish I could be like that’ and then they put them down,” said junior Taylor Robinson. “It’s not right, no one should be ashamed of how they dress or look and people putting them down is terrible.”

While many students at St. Bonaventure, primarily being female, have been slut shamed. [13] Most and if not, all were uncomfortable in disclosing any details on why or how they have been if it was for anything besides clothing.

“I didn’t really do anything, obviously I was angry about it, obviously I was kind of frustrated and it makes you rethink your actions and who you talk to because you don’t think of yourself as that person,” said sophomore Kyra Burgess, who didn’t say why she was shamed, but explained her reaction.

The ultimate reaction to being shamed is the feeling of anger or being uncomfortable. To have something criticized about you that is personal makes many people upset.

“I cannot even begin to imagine why some people do the things that they do,” said Kathryn O’Brien, vice president of Student Affairs in her office in the Reilly Center. “What I can tell you is that we have a no tolerance policy for when it does occur when addressing it and what motivates someone to do it I can’t even speculate.”

St. Bonaventure has recently received a grant for $300,000 to combat sexual harassment and title IX claims on campus.

Slut-shaming occurs on all college campuses whether the school does anything to prevent it, whether it stops is up to the students.

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Trietley named vice president for Student Affairs

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[Image courtesy of sbu.edu]

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

Rick Trietley has worn many different hats in his ten years at St. Bonaventure University. Through different job titles, one thing was always certain: his commitment to Bonaventure students.

Trietley, an Olean, N.Y. native and 1986 Bonaventure graduate, has been named vice president for Student Affairs, where he will report directly to university president Sr. Margaret.

“I view the new position as an expansion of my previous position as vice provost for Student Life,” Trietley said. “…With the change in report structure I will now have regular and consistent communications with Sr. Margaret which will provide her with a more in depth understanding of the issues, trends and best practices that are important to our student body.”

“Having more regular and direct engagement with Rick will enable me to better understand and articulate the opportunities for support as I interact with our alumni, donors, and external funding organizations, as well as a better understanding of the trends, issues and best practices that are important to our current students,” Sr. Margaret said.

Trietley’s past jobs at Bonaventure:

  • U.S. Army ROTC Professor of Military Science (June 2003-June 2008)
  • Director of Safety and Security (July 2008 – February 2009)
  • Vice Provost for Student Life (February 2009- August 2013)

Trietley’s wife is also a Bonaventure graduate.

Additionally to reporting directly to Sr. Margaret, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is now under the Student Affairs Division, Trietley said. Student Affairs now consists of the Career and Professional Readiness Center; Safety and Security; Center for Student Wellness; Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership; the Damietta Center; and Residential Living and Conduct.

“The vast array of services, educational opportunities and co-curricular opportunities provided by all seven of these departments will enhance the overall student experience and contribute greatly to student success,” Trietley said. “The Student Affairs staff and I welcome the Athletics Department to our team and look forward to the opportunities that this change provides.”

Trietley’s colleagues praised the promotion.

“In all of the roles he has played at the university, he has demonstrated tremendous leadership and collegiality,” said Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations. “He is highly organized, extraordinarily student-focused, and eager to take on a challenge.”

“I was particularly impressed, while he was director of safety and security, by the way he brought together our region’s law enforcement and emergency response personnel and organizations to create a Memorandum of Understanding that established an unprecedented level of coordination and support for St. Bonaventure University in terms of crisis management, training, and preparedness.  We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that and for his leadership in creating our crisis response plan.”

Sinsabaugh said Trietley either created or helped create various organizations such as the CPRC and the Wellness Center. He also co-chaired the team that created Bonaventure’s strategic plan, Your Teams – Our Extraordinary Future.  Sinsabaugh also praised him for his work in strengthening Bonaventure’s Student Government Association.

Trietley attends every SGA meeting.

Abby Harrington, SGA’s executive vice president, has worked closely with Trietley.

She said Trietley often goes out of his way to be helpful to students and if she emails him, he almost always gets right back to her. She said she believes he truly has the students’ best interests in mind.

“Our university should be thankful having such a great person working alongside its students,” she said.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu