Rape and the college campus (5×8 – 8/31/12)

Note: Chances are this will be the only post on NewsCut today. I’ll be working at the MPR booth at the State Fair today from 9 to 5, pushing the merchandise. Otherwise, back on Tuesday.


There’s no evidence readily available to suggest that the University of Minnesota Duluth is much different than any other college campus, which is why an eight-month investigation by the school’s campus newspaper is particularly troubling.

Even though only three cases of sexual assault have been officially reported, hundreds of women every year said they had been sexually assaulted. That’s 1 in 17 students at UMD.

One in five women on the nation’s college campus will be sexually assaulted, a study says. And one of the reasons it may not be reported more is that women don’t know what to do, according to the Statesman newspaper.

A UMD student said that when she was raped on a Friday in the spring of her sophomore year in 2011, she didn’t know what to do.

She said she waited until Monday to call UMD Health Services. She was then informed of forensic and medical testing that is provided at local hospitals free of charge.

By this time she had showered, and crucial evidence had been destroyed.

“Before it happened I did not (know what to do), which is why I did not go get a rape kit or anything,” said Stacy, a pseudonym, as the Statesman does not generally identify victims of sexual assault. “I’ve heard of them, obviously, but I didn’t know details.”

Stacy isn’t alone. Another alleged rape victim interviewed during this investigation, “Marissa” said she didn’t know how to report an assault.

“I had absolutely no idea (what to do),” she said. “Who researches this stuff when it hasn’t happened to them? Because no one thinks it’s going to.”

The investigation also found that no student has been disciplined for sexual assault at the school in at least 14 years, and that a rape victim was intimidated out of pursuing charges against the alleged rapist.

The series also includes the story of a male sexual health educator who was drugged and raped.

“I always told people when I was teaching them about sexual health, ‘It’s not your fault, you didn’t ask for this,'” J.D. Holmquist told the reporters. “But then it happened to me and I was like, ‘What did I do wrong?’ And all of the sudden I was questioning everything I had ever learned.”

This is a must-read series.


Last night was Mitt Romney’s big night, but today the chatter seems to be about Clint Eastwood.

Missed it? Here:

The NPR Morning Edition crew gave it a thumbs down…

Your view?

The Obama campaign responded to Eastwood via Twitter:

Related: Andrew Zimmern fires back at Tim Pawlenty.


Nobody just proposes anymore. Every proposal has to be more stupendous than the previous one that also went viral.

David Pogue, the tech writer at the New York Times, made his into a movie trailer…

Pogue’s Proposal from david pogue on Vimeo.

Top that, love birds.


A New York whippersnapper has riled up the people of North Dakota with her Business Insider article, “Why I’ll Never Move to North Dakota,” that dismissed NoDak’s high ranking in places-to-live surveys.

No one can simply look at employment rates for a state and count on finding a job in their field. North Dakota’s economy may be booming, but that’s mostly due to its mining and shale industry. I didn’t go to journalism school to work on an oil rig. And according to Salary.com, the average reporter in Fargo, N.D. nets only a little more than $31,000 per year.

And there’s the flat land, the lack of diversity, and the social scene, she adds for good measure.

“It’s Fargo,” Sam Benshoof of the Fargo Forum responds in defense of his state, “and it has its own charms and quirks that can’t be summed up in lists or data, and can’t be understood by those who’ve never visited.”


Tonight is the second full moon of the month, making it a “blue moon,” in popular lore. But that’s a mistake, Bob King of the Duluth News Tribune writes. The term “blue” actually comes from an old definition, meaning “rare.” Then it was mistakenly used to mean the second moon of the month on a Public Radio program and that was all it took, he claims, to give it its current meaning.

Bonus I: Cats and Internet videos. Seriously, what’s the deal here? (Wired.com) Oh, and here’s last night’s playlist from the Walker’s cat video film festival.

Bonus II: A trumpet falls silent. (Marshall Independent)

Bonus III: The college football season is underway with the traditional running the wrong way after a fumble.


Thursday evening, Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president with a speech that was anticipated as the most important of his political career. Today’s Question: What did you think of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Recapping Mitt Romney’s speech from last night.

Second hour: Iron Ranger Aaron J. Brown.

Third hour: Rebroadcast of the Romney speech.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): It’s MPR DAY at the Minnesota State Fair. MPR’s Tom Crann hosts Gov. Mark Dayton on the Carousel Park stage. The governor will answer questions from the audience.

Science Friday (1-2 p.m.) – The western U.S. is on fire. Could climate change be to blame? Ira Flatow looks at the link between earlier springtime weather, and wildfires. What secrets do all those burning tree rings hold? Plus

Curiosity gets moving on Mars. Where is it headed, and why?