HWS students talking about sexual assault issue, but other topics too

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014 10:15 pm | Updated: 10:25 pm, Sat Aug 30, 2014.

By JIM MILLER jmiller@fltimes.com

GENEVA - As students began arriving at Hobart and William Smith for the new school year last week, conversation inevitably turned to last year’s sexual assault allegation and the resulting New York Times story.

“People are talking about it,” said Tyler Terens, who is starting his junior year. “I mean, obviously, people are talking about it.”

But the students also have plenty of other things to talk about. They want the Colleges to be a safe place for all students, but they also want to move on with their educations and activities.

“It’s not like anybody’s down on the school or down on the administration,” Terens said.

For Terens, a soccer player from New Jersey, moving on means focusing on athletics rather than on the New York Times story. For Natalie Powers, a freshman from Syracuse, it means excitement about starting college.

She said the New York Times article never made her question her decision to attend Hobart and William Smith.

“This is my dream school,” she said.

Many of the arriving students said they did not want to talk about the situation or were too busy moving in to discuss it. The three students who agreed to comment either said they think the Colleges have handled the issue well or that they plan to take steps to make the campus safer.

Marguerite Adams, a senior from South Burlington, Vt., said she plans to start teaching a self-defense class on campus.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but now I think it’ll have more attraction,” she said.

Like many students, Adams has been following news of the alleged assault.

“It’s been all over social media, so I feel like it’s kind of hard to get an exact take on it,” she said.

Powers had a more definite take. She said the Colleges had responded well to the situation, and she criticized the New York Times story.

“I think it was just a little bit one-sided,” she said, adding that she would have liked to have seen it address similar situations at other schools.

Terens also said the Colleges responded well.

Like other athletes, he and his teammates received reminders about the Colleges’ policies and expectations when they arrived on campus.

“We had people come in to talk to us pre-practice,” he said. “It was definitely a positive kind of message.”


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