President of Eckerd College Writes Open Letter to Students About Preventing Sexual Assaults On Campus

Last week, President Donald Eastman of Eckerd College sent out a letter directed at all students and faculty with his thoughts on how to prevent sexual assaults on campus.

In his open letter published in full by the Current, Eastman stated “You know that these incidents are almost always preceded by consumption, often heavy consumption, of alcohol, often by everyone involved in them.”

Eastman believes that if students follow his suggestions, they will essentially address the “nexus of problems” that revolves around incidents of sexual assault.

Taking it a step further, Eastman then condemned casual sex in his letter, saying “No one’s culture or character of understanding is improved by casual sex. Those who are virtuous are happier as well as healthier.”

In an attempt to clarify his statements, Eastman sat down for an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. During the interview he said, “I was trying to say that we would have a healthier and less dangerous campus if people drank less and took their sexual relations more seriously.”

Eckerd College alumnus, Joshua R. Keeler, was none to pleased with the open letter and its contents. “I believe that laying the blame solely at the feet of the two issues you mentioned is an injustice to those affected by sexual assualt, and will not solve the problem,” Keeler wrote in response to Eastman.

Keeler even went as far as starting a petition in an attempt to prompt the college president to readdress his stance on sexual assault.

Eastman isn’t the first college official to receive criticism after making remarks about the sexual assault epidemic spreading across campuses, though. Just last week Robert Jennings resigned from his position as president of Lincoln University after telling the school’s female students to “stop putting themselves in dangerous situations.” George Washington University’s former president, Stephen Trachtenberg, also came under fire this summer after saying that female students should simply “punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave.”

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