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To the Steps: Gettysburg Students Will Not Stand For Hate

November 20, 2016

Jeffrey Lauck ’18

In the five days following this year’s presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center received over 400 reports of hateful intimidation and harassment. Unknown sums have not been brought to light. While pundits speculate as to what has caused the recent outbursts, many Americans now live in fear and are concerned if or when they will become the next target. Unfortunately, the Gettysburg College campus has not been spared of this plight.

Recently, many Gettysburg students have felt under siege as hateful comments regarding gender, race, and sexuality have found themselves into the classroom and around campus. In response, dozens of students camped out on the stairs of Pennsylvania Hall for twenty-four straight hours to show that they will no longer tolerate hateful rhetoric on their campus. The Gettysburgian offers full coverage of the events of the sit-in as well as reactions from activists and college administration.

I am proud of my fellow students for standing up (or sitting in) for injustice in their everyday lives. I have also been delightfully surprised by the outpouring of support from campus faculty, administration, and other students. Many joined them in their show of solidarity on the steps. Professors and administrators donated pizza, drinks, and snacks to the activists. The Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board provided sleeping bags and mattress pads for the students who braved the sub-freezing temperatures during the night. Some professors even held class “on the steps.” Despite the melancholic subject of their discontent, students remained hopeful and reinvigorated by the support that they offered each other. At several points sing-a-longs backed by ukuleles, banjos, and guitars broke out among the crowd.

This demonstration will undoubtedly be celebrated and critiqued by many on campus and beyond. It is important that we remind ourselves what this demonstration was and was not. Let’s begin with what it was not. This sit-in was not a cackle of Democrats complaining that Donald Trump won the election. It was not a bunch of whiny college students calling for an end to free speech on campus. It was not a band of anarchists trying to shut down the operations of the college. It was not a crew of cynics who prophesized the end of American liberty. These are not the people who sat on those steps.

Rather, the sit-in was a celebration of students’ First Amendment rights to assemble and speak out. While one of the main concerns of the activists was the use of hate speech on campus, the overall sentiment was that the best way to stand up to others speaking out with intolerance was to respond by speaking out in a show of support for the victims and provide a clear statement that hatred is not a normal or acceptable part of campus life.

In short, the sit-in sent a message that many in the campus community will not stand for hate. But this small act of solidarity would be remiss if it did not end with a call to action for the future. Sit-in organizer Joseph Recupero ended the demonstration in kind: “Sitting here is extremely powerful. Hearing the support of faculty is powerful. But nothing will be more powerful than standing up when you hear or see things. Stand up and do what you can.”


The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.

What is the federal government’s role in The Dakota Pipeline project?

November 10, 2016

Question of the Week:

The Dakota Pipeline has been garnering national attention for the economic and environmental effects of the pipeline itself, as well as the reaction of the Sioux tribe and the police’s response to protesters. What role should the federal government be playing in this controversial project?

Luke Frigon ’18 – Gettysburg College Democrats

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a clear infringement on the rights of Native Americans. It is not only a complete disregard of the land rights of Native people, but come with a risk of a potential rupture and spill which could contaminate the environment and the drinking water of the Sioux Nation’s people. The original route of the pipeline laid out by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) ran through Bismarck (North Dakota’s state capital), but the people of Bismarck objected since a rupture in the pipeline could easily contaminate the Missouri River and make Bismarck’s drinking water unsafe to consume. ETP and the Army Corps of Engineers then planned on running the pipeline dangerously close to the drinking water of the Sioux people, but are ignoring their pleas for a halt on construction despite the very same objections being made. The United Nations is now investigating the area after claims of human rights violations surfaced. Peaceful protestors are being pepper-sprayed, tear gassed, and attacked by dogs. Just last week journalist Erin Schrode was shot by police. So what can the Federal Government do? Just this past Tuesday, President Obama told an interviewer that the Army Corps of Engineers was looking for a more suitable route for the pipeline that would divert it away from native lands and water supply. He called into question the viability of such a pipeline in an era of falling oil prices. The Federal Government needs to cut US dependency on crude oil. We need to heavily invest in cleaner energy like wind and solar power. If we had done so years ago, the DAPL controversy wouldn’t exist today.

Alex Engelsman ’18 and Danielle Jones ’18 – Gettysburg College Independents

There are certainly valid points on both sides of the issue. Here however, we will take the stance that the federal government does have the right to become involved. The states are responsible for crafting business deals and this specific instance involves local Native American tribes. Tribes are normally recognized and overseen by the federal Department of the Interior and it is this relationship that I believe gives the federal government the right to put a hand in this issue.

The question then becomes what should the federal government do? What can it do? First, it can and should investigate the local authorities to make sure no suspension of rights has occurred. The United Nations has now sent observers to the location, and if the UN is watching, the United States should be too.

Second, the federal government should be making sure no federal laws were broken in the creation and moving of the planned pipeline. In short, the federal government’s role in this should be like its role in everything else: to ensure that a fair and equal society exists, where all Americans follow the law.

Chris Condon ’19 – Young Americans for Liberty 

Supporting the free exchange of goods between people, we, as the Young Americans for Liberty, believe that the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline should be permitted by the Federal Government. That being said, the Federal Government does have the legal right to regulate and/or restrict the construction of said pipeline under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the Commerce Clause. This enumerated power reads: “[Congress shall have the power] to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Regardless, we believe in the power of the free market over that of the federal government. Although we do concede that some environmental checks must be put in place by the government, the construction of this pipeline will no doubt create jobs and decrease our dependence of foreign energy sources. Since the pipeline will be built on private land, has been reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers, and has not been struck down by any court, the economic benefit of the pipeline should not be infringed upon by interference on the part of Congress or the Executive branch.

In sum, although this is an emotional issue on both sides and the Federal government has the legal justification to intervene, we do not believe it would be wise on their part to restrict this development.


The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.

Out of State College Students and the Election At Gettysburg College

November 6, 2016

Christina Noto ’19 – Inside Politics Participant

There has been a lot of conversation about voter registration recently due to the fact that Pennsylvania is a swing state. College students have been encouraged to change their voter registration to a state that could determine the results of the election. If you live in New York, California, or Massachusetts, why vote in a state which will definitely go blue when you could change your registration to vote in a purple state? Why vote in Alabama, South Carolina, or Kentucky, all red states, when you could vote in Pennsylvania? College students in Pennsylvania could greatly impact the outcome of this and future elections.

Is this a fair system? Some people have the opportunity to choose what state they vote in, while others only have the choice of one state. College students that live out of state can choose to vote in their home state or the state in which they go to college. sponsors and its purpose is to encourage and explain how to register to vote. There is a section that is solely dedicated to college students. The first paragraph of that page reads, “if you’re a student in Pennsylvania who has moved to a new county or a new state to attend college, you can still vote. As a college student, you have two choices on where you register to vote. You have the right to register and vote where you live now, whether that is an on-campus or off-campus address. Or, you may choose to register or remain registered and vote at your prior home address.” There are 14 public colleges and 154 private colleges in Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania State System for Higher Education in the Fall of 2015 there were 13,423 out of state students going to public colleges within Pennsylvania. Each of these students had the option to change their registration.

The main reason college students would be changing their registration would be to impact the national election. This clearly makes sense, but what are the reason students would decide to keep their voter registrations in their home state? First, their state is a swing state: If there are students from another swing state, they could change their registration to Pennsylvania, but either way, their vote could potentially determine the outcome of a swing state. Secondly, the state may have close local or state elections. To take control of the House of Representatives, either party needs to win 218 seats. Of the 435 house elections only 47 of them are considered competitive and of those 47 only 17 do not seem to be leaning a certain way.

One of those 17 seats is in my home district, NY-19, so I decided not to change my registration. Chris Gibson, the Republican from the 19th District, is retiring after six years serving in the House of Representatives. Since he is retiring, a seat has opened in my district. Although this district usually leans Republican, in 2012 and 2008 it was split. It went blue for the Presidential election, but red in the Congressional election. Since this will be a close race, I find it important to keep my registration in New York and vote in my home district. Other students may have kept their registration in their home state for similar reasons. While college students have the potential to have a great impact on this election, 1.7 million people ages 18-24 are not registered. In the 2008 election only 20% of the eligible voters 18-29 voted. Young people have the potential to impact the election outcome, especially out of state college students who have the opportunity to choose where they vote.

Voters want their voices to be heard, by allowing college students to choose where they register, does this allow for all voices to be heard equally? Many people are disheartened by the current system. Some people feel that their vote does not matter. Although they might feel that way, it is important that people take the advantage of this opportunity to vote.


The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.

Voter registration and Election Day

November 2, 2016

Question of the Week:

Donald Trump’s recent allegations that the election is rigged has brought up the issue of voter identification laws and their efficacy. What role do you think the state and federal governments should play in voter registration? What kind of voter identification laws are most appropriate in early voting and on Election Day?

David Fulkerson ’17 – Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective

Trump is right! This election is rigged, as are all our elections. That is of course our only agreement with the Donald. When he mentions election fraud, it is always dead people voting, “inclusive ID” laws, and private ownership of voting booths. These examples, however, are just symptoms of the real problem. Individuals are not frauding the election. The election is frauds us.

What do we mean by this? Glad you asked! For starters, corporate lobbying enables concentrations of power to buy control of this country’s political apparatus. This includes the media. Public debates are limited to a narrow spectrum of opinions. Dissent, when mentioned at all, is buried beneath a landslide of meaningless news or presented in an intentionally obfuscating context.

This is not to say that voter enfranchisement is not an important issue. American Democracy will never be what it claims to be until everyone within the nation gets a voice in how we run the nation. To only focus on electoral fraud as Mr. Trump defines it, or focus solely on voter enfranchisement and turn-out numbers, as many Democrats suggest, both miss the true fraud of our political system and will never be able to address the issues that lie at the core of our society.

Andrew Dalton ’19 – Gettysburg College Democrats

Donald Trump recently fanned the flames of yet another right-wing conspiracy theory that the election is rigged against him because of widespread voter fraud. We can now add this to the laundry list of Trump’s excuses for what may well be a resounding loss on November 8th. In Trump’s mind, the world is working against him and dead people are rising out of the grave to vote for Hillary Clinton. How much of a problem has voter fraud actually been over the years? The Washington Post reported in 2014 that “out of one billion ballots cast” since 2000, there were only 31 credible instances of voter fraud. That’s right—31 out of 1,000,000,000. Although voter impersonation at the polls is practically nonexistent in our voting system, Republicans like Donald Trump are, as usual, quick to ignore the facts.

What is far more troubling than Mr. Trump’s childish banter is the enforcement of voter ID laws by state legislatures all across the country. In fact, these laws skyrocketed after the 2008 presidential election that drew a record number of African American voters to the polls. This is no coincidence. While Republican legislators claim that the laws are in place to ensure fair elections, Representative Glenn Grothman admitted earlier this year that the laws will help Republicans by making it harder for low-income voters to make their voices heard. Those who do not have a photo ID (which is necessary in eight states) must purchase one to vote. This is not democracy. These laws are a 21st century version of the poll tax and should not be tolerated by any political party.

Alex Engelsman ’18 – Gettysburg College Independents

It is important to begin with a concrete statement. Voting is a right, not a privilege. This means that any restrictions on a person’s ability to vote must be for reasons of protecting others and themselves, as is the case with all other restrictions of citizen’s rights. So, for purposes of implementing voter ID laws, a reasonable and credible suspicion must exist that there is in-person voter impersonation happening in multiple precincts on such a level that it cannot be contributed to precincts mishandling their process individually.

To this degree, we do not believe that there is enough evidence to suggest that there is a large amount of in-person voter impersonation happening in the United States to warrant the infringement of citizen’s rights. In Michael Gilbert’s article The Problem of Voter Fraud published in the Columbia Law Review, he speaks on the issue of in-person voter impersonation, and categorically denies its existence as a problem in the United State electoral system. Gilbert goes as far to say as there were so few cases of in-person voter impersonation that if every fraudulent vote were cast in the same precinct, no outcomes would change from that precinct.

Given this, we do not believe any voter identification laws are appropriate in any elections. They inhibit more eligible voters from voting than fraudulent votes from being cast. In the words of Will McAvoy, “this is a solution without a problem.”

James Goodman ’20 – Young Americans for Freedom

Voter ID laws are important to prevent voter fraud, which could seriously hinder a candidate’s bid for election. Voter fraud is easy to commit in states without ID laws. In NY, for instance, all one needs to do is know their district and say his/her name to the polling place operator and they are handed a ballot. There is no need to show any other form of ID. In fact, if you walk up to the wrong district, multiple districts meet in the same polling place, they will just direct you to the next table or give you directions to go to another polling place. This makes it all too easy for someone to vote on another’s behalf.

While it is important for laws to be put in place to prevent voter fraud, it should not be handled at the federal level. The Constitution does not give any branch of the federal government the ability to make laws concerning how voting is handled. This is an issue that should be left up to the states to decide, as per the 10th Amendment. The Constitution clearly lays out what laws the Congress can make, and laws dictating voting is not among those allowed to be made by Congress. In fact the 24th Amendment was ratified to outlaw poll taxes.

The states could pass laws that require one to show any state or federally issued license prior to voting or receiving an absentee ballot. The Federal government could encourage states to participate in this form of voter identification by withholding federal funds until the laws are passed or providing grants. This would be a simple solution to eliminate a significant threat to our Republic.

Liam Kerr ’19 – Young Americans for Liberty

Young Americans for Liberty stands firmly behind the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, with which the founders promised that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” It is this amendment that we use to argue against any federal involvement in the issue of voter identification laws. Article II states that there shall be a federally set, nation-wide election day, which is the furthest extent of federal involvement in elections. The states, therefore, have the right to impose voter identification laws if they so choose, with notable exceptions; these laws cannot violate the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Therefore, if the laws clearly target any one group of people they can be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The Fifteenth Amendment also specifies that is United States citizens only who are guaranteed the right to vote. We also believe that if states do impose voter ID laws, they should provide voter identification cards to any citizen of that state who has no other valid form of ID, such as senior citizens or the poor.

The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.


What to Make of the Third Presidential Debate

October 31, 2016

Bridget Verrekia ’18 – Inside Politics Participant

Prior to the third presidential debate taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada a few weeks ago, there was lots of political chatter.  People were still taking to social media to write about their distrust in Hillary Clinton due to her e-mail scandal or their lack of respect for Donald Trump because of his video the recently released video regarding “locker room banter.”  Even more importantly, it seemed as though a large majority of people still felt that they had no idea where the candidates stood on some issues.  Journalist Brendan Morrow wrote that “historically, the third debate tends to be the least-viewed of the three, with voters usually having seen enough by the conclusion of the second debate and with some not even making it past the first one.”  However, this was not the case for our 2016 third presidential debate.  In my college economics class, the day after each debate my professor has asked us to raise our hands if we watched it; the number of hands raised has stayed the same after every debate.  For this election, it seems like voters feel as though they cannot pick a candidate based off of his or her political plan and rather are choosing the candidate that offends them less.  People have tuned into all three debates hoping to see or hear one of the candidates do something that will drive them to want to go to the polls.

According to the website, before the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had about an 86% chance of winning the election and Donald Trump had about a 14% chance.  Following the debate, these percentages have stayed almost exactly the same.  Political scientists weighed in on the situation, claiming that in order for Trump to have a chance at winning he would need to pull out a large victory in the third presidential debate, but that did not seem to happen.  Both candidates showed the same cards they have been using and no large revelations were made.  Is it over for Donald Trump?  Only time will tell, as anything could happen within the next week. I think it is fair to conclude that there is not much to make of the third presidential debate.


The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.

Getting Past the Rhetoric: The Real Issues in the 2016 Presidential Election

October 28, 2016

Sam Genova ’18 – Inside Politics Participant

Never before in an election cycle has it become so easy to get swept up in the frenzy of insults, accusations, and grandiose claims than in our current presidential election. The entertainment value of this election is so high that Donald Trump has gotten around $4.3 billion in free media in the past year. This puts the value of Trump’s media coverage at nearly double the value of the GDP of Belize. Meanwhile, both candidates are sporting the highest unfavorable ratings of any two presidential candidates in history. The coverage of this election has focused on attacking the character and discussing scandals of both candidates, rather than focusing on substantive policy issues. It is important we know where both candidates stand on the issues that matter so that we can make informed decisions on election day. According to the Pew Research Center, the three most important issues are:

1.) Economy

Clinton’s Position: She is looking to reform the tax system to make it more progressive. This would not change the tax rates for most Americans, but it would include a new tax bracket for those earning over $5,000,000 annually. This would add an estimated $1 trillion in revenue over the next ten years. She opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and would look to provide tax incentives for companies to manufacture goods in the United States. She also proposes creating jobs in the energy sector which will come from her plan to promote renewable energy sources.

Trump’s Position: He promises to cut taxes for every American. His plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three. These tax cuts would reduce taxes across all income levels, but would benefit the wealthy disproportionally. He also opposes the TPP, and calls to renegotiate trade deals to favor the United States. He also proposes placing high tariffs on foreign imports to promote American-made goods. He also calls to increase the growth of manufacturing jobs, which has been declining.

2.) Terrorism and Foreign Policy

Clinton’s Position: She is a proponent of the Iran deal. Clinton also supports Israel with hopes to keep it as the stable military power in the region. She supports stronger sanctions in regards to China’s human rights abuse record and cyber attacks. She supports a coalition of Western and Arab countries against the Islamic State (IS), encourages increased United States airstrikes, and wants to arm the Kurds and Sunni Arab fighters in the fight against the IS. Clinton would maintain restrictions on NSA surveillance, would close Guantanamo, would ban the use of torture on terrorism suspects, and would instate a more thorough screening process for people who have traveled to countries with terrorist threats.

Trump’s Position: He opposes the Iran deal and would renegotiate it. He would support stricter economic sanctions on China for currency manipulation and unfair trade practices, create more of a deterrent against Chinese cyber attacks, and increase U.S. naval presence by the South China Sea. He would form a coalition of Western and Arab countries to combat IS, would increase the number of United States ground troops in Iraq and Syria, and increase the number of airstrikes. Trump would also increase the amount of NSA surveillance, would keep Guantanamo open, allow torture such as waterboarding to be used on terror suspects, would ban Muslims from entering the US, and would support “extreme vetting” for Syrian refugees.

3.) Healthcare

Clinton’s Position: She supports the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and would amend and expand it. She would put a cap on co-pays for prescription drugs and would create more competition in the market. This would allow for generic drugs to be more readily available to consumers. She supports and would defend Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood. She has also unveiled an extensive plan to reform the mental health care system and to raise awareness for the issue.

Trump’s Position: He would repeal the Affordable Care Act. He would increase competition in the private insurance sector and not require individuals to have a health care plan. He would also enforce laws that prevent undocumented immigrants from getting health care. He would lower prescription drug prices by increasing competition in the marketplace. Trump supports abortions but only in cases such as rape, incest, or where a woman’s health is in danger. He would only support funding Planned Parenthood if they stopped performing abortions. Trump would expand treatment programs for the mentally ill, citing the need for this expansion partially in reaction to increased mass shootings.

Whether you support Trump, Clinton, a third party, or are undecided, it is important that you stay informed on the policies of the candidates. Uninformed voting is all too common, but with a small amount of research, you can look past the rhetoric and see where candidates stand on important issues. I encourage you to get more information and exercise your right to guide this country in the direction you think it should go.

The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.

About EI Discussions- a weekly series

October 26, 2016

What is EI Discussions?

Last month the Institute hosted a campus-wide debate between the various political groups at Gettysburg College. In order to continue the discussion we have developed a weekly series called EI Discussions which will be posted here every Wednesday. EI Discussions encourages constructive dialogue between people across the political spectrum on a number of issues facing our country. All politically inclined groups at Gettysburg College are welcome to contribute to the discussion. 

Question of the Week:

With resurfacing allegations of sexual assault committed by Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, the Gettysburg College’s Students Against Sexual Assault’s “14 Days Against Sexual Assault” campaign reaffirms that this issue is pervasive in all levels of society. What role should the federal and state governments play in preventing sexual assault on college campuses? What policies would be most effective on Gettysburg’s campus?

Rebecca King ’19 – Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective

We feel that students have a right to more information about sexual assault on campus, including the name of perpetrators and exact location of the assault. The vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by students known to the survivor. As we are a small campus, many students know one another, making the probability of an encounter with a potential assailant alarmingly high. Students have a right to know what locations prove to be high-risk for sexual assault in order to protect ourselves. We condemn objectification, which allows for the perpetrator to feel justified in using another human being as a tool for sexual gratification, rather than considering the needs of the other party. It is our opinion that fraternities are problematic in that they create environments in which men use women as currency to enter. We believe fraternity brothers reinforce the “ratio” of attendees to increase the chances of a sexual encounter in an environment where we believe most attendees consume alcohol. It is our opinion that this increases the likelihood of a sexual encounter under the influence of alcohol, which make fraternity environments prone to sexual assault, as when either party is too intoxicated to give consent, sexual acts, by nature, become sexual assault. Any sexual act is not consensual when a party involved cannot clearly, enthusiastically demonstrate that they wish to engage in whatever sex act a party has proposed, someone involved is under duress, or a party is incapacitated.

Luke Frigon ’18 – Gettysburg College Democrats

Sexual assault is perhaps the biggest and most intimidating issue facing America’s colleges and universities today. While colleges (including our own) have taken steps to reduce the amount of sexual assaults on campus, it’s not enough. It’s time for Federal and State governments to step in and take charge, and there are easy ways to do it. First of all, politicians need to start respecting women’s’ rights to their own bodies. If a woman is going to be told what she can and can’t do with her own body, why should she trust the government to protect that body from sexual assault? The government needs to fully fund and support Planned Parenthood. They need to support women (and men) wherever possible, and it starts with giving people access to healthcare and screenings for things like testicular and breast cancer.

Sexual assault, however, is not a men’s issue or a women’s issue. It is a Human issue. There needs to be a cultural change on college campuses where men and women are equally and highly valued. There needs to be mandated sexual assault prevention and awareness training, not just for fraternities and sororities, but ALL students. Through federal programs like RealConsent, Safe Dates, and Shifting Boundaries, we have seen somewhat effective means to prevent sexual assaults, but it’s not enough. As much as it is on the shoulders of government to stop this, it is on us as students as well. We need to not be bystanders. As much as it is a federal and state issue, sexual assault prevention is OUR issue. It is affecting US, and it must not go on any longer.

For information please visit:

Alex Engelsman ’18 – Gettysburg College Independents

Those of us in College Independents are opposed to sexual violence of any kind, but that may come as no surprise. As Independents, we believe that a balance should be struck between the role of the federal and state governments in this issue. There should be national standards on college policy towards this epidemic, given sexual assault is the same in all fifty states and should not depend on where you live. But at the same time there is precedent that states are the primary creators of college policy, especially given their closer relationship with the private institutions, and administration of the public schools. The federal government should produce national standards of policy that all states must follow, but the policies and administration of those policies should be left to the states.

We believe that on Gettysburg’s campus, as well as many others, how the campus handles sexual assault should be led by the faculty for fear of bias from another group. While the administration may seek to underplay or cover up and serious allegations to not risk a scandal, it could be potentially dangerous to have students be the arbiter of such serious cases, given the polarization and stigmas present in the student community. We believe that the faculty, being closely connected with both groups, can be a successful arbiter in cases, being sure to be neutral to all other factors outside the case itself.

Scott Moore ’19 – Young Americans for Freedom

Every decent person on campus at Gettysburg College would agree that we must combat sexual assault. So why, then, does the administration of the College so strongly oppose effective action? Anyone who claims that an awareness campaign or a public lecture will stop a single assault is utterly delusional. What should the College do to curb sexual assaults on campus then? Nothing. The principles that Young Americans for Freedom advocates on a national scale are the rights of the individual. These same rights are what we believe will combat sexual assaults on campus. Certainly the school is well within its rights to prohibit firearms on campus, no one would argue for the safety of letting a drunken student carry a gun. But what about other methods of self-defense? College policy prohibits any weapon or device capable of injuring or incapacitating a person, this prevents victims from fighting back in situations where contacting Public Safety is impossible. Allowing students to possess tasers, knives, or pepper spray would at least make fighting back a possibility while minimizing harm to others whereas current policy would merely create helpless victims. Permitting the injury or incapacitation of attackers would be a real solution to preventing real sexual assault; a crime which all too often has its definition diluted by false accusations. It is our opinion that regret does not equate to rape and to claim that it does trivialize the suffering of actual victims, victims who might not exist if we allowed them to defend themselves.

Christopher Condon ’19 – Young Americans for Liberty

We, as the Young Americans for Liberty, are first and foremost expressing our belief that sexual assault is a prevalent and important issue on college campuses across America, including at our very own Gettysburg College. Although we are typically a voice of lessening government influence in all areas, this scourge is one that must be confronted by the law and nothing less. Rape and sexual assault are rightfully classified as violent crimes, and therefore should be punished to the fullest extent with due process by the college, local, and state governments. We are a nation of laws and we must ensure that laws such as these are followed and enforced fully to express our absolute contempt for such behavior as a society.

In a larger sense, however, the law can only do so much. Although the law is an important facet of lessening this behavior, it is up to us as a society and as individuals to eliminate the misogyny that is so often involved in every aspect of sexual assault, from peer pressure to bystanders feeling as if they cannot speak up about what they see. As firm believers in the power of the individual, the more people who speak up about these crimes and band together in the defense of decency, the closer we will get to a society where sexual assault is exceedingly rare. What each student and the administration of Gettysburg College can do to protect those that are vulnerable to this behavior, male and female, is to continue to speak up and educate each other about this pressing issue.

The views and opinions expressed are the students and the organizations whom they represent and do not necessarily represent the views of The Eisenhower Institute or Gettysburg College.