Accountability needed for sexual violence in educational institutions


Dear editor,


Sexual violence in our institutions of higher ed will keep happening if governing authorities are not held responsible — in a meaningful way — for neglecting the health and safety of their students. I applaud the work by attorney Joleen Youngers and the courage of the five New Mexico State University student athletes who came forward and who suffered greatly, for fighting for institutional accountability and system changes. 

Yes, the former student athletes who engaged in this conduct are being held accountable, but what about the systems that allowed for these actions to take place — the coaches in charge of the team’s safety and supervision, the inadequate administrative policies and the overall culture that permitted this all to happen? I fear that unless accountability that’s proportionate to all higher education institutions the size of NMSU occurs, a culture of sexual abuse on college campuses will exact a devastating toll once again.


Rep. Joanne Ferrary

Las Cruces