Dear CHEERS: Tough decisions
By Kathryn Slezak
Last weekend I was out at a frat with a group of my friends. We were getting our frackets upstairs when I saw some guy holding hands with a girl and taking him up to his room. She was extremely drunk, and he seemed relatively sober. All week I felt like I had let her down by not saying anything. What if she had sex with him and regretted it? If I ever see that happening in the future, what do I do?
Those situations are always difficult to handle. You don’t want to offend the girl or the guy by making a scene and acting like they are doing something they both didn’t consent to. It could cause a problem for either party. However, it is also important for people to look out for each other and try not to become subject to the bystander effect, standing by while something potentially harmful is going on with others. In this particular case, if you become concerned that either a guy or girl is becoming involved in something they didn’t knowingly consent to, meaning they wouldn’t do it without being blackout, it could help either party if you were to verify that this wasn’t a date rape or a situation in which someone’s level of intoxication is taken advantage of. If you know one of the people hosting the party, or a friend of either the guy or girl, and you or a friend feels comfortable doing so, you can approach them and just verify that everything’s okay. If you are friends with either party, it would be beneficial to check with your friend to see this is something they want to do. There are ways to do this inoffensively and to avoid being the “cock-blocker” while looking out for other people.
Kathryn Slezak is co-leader of CHEERS and a senior at Gettysburg College.
CHEERS (Communicating for a Healthy Environment by Educating Responsible Students) is a peer educators group whose primary goal is to provide students with information to make healthy, informed choices which will facilitate student adjustment to the Gettysburg College atmosphere.