[Unversity of the] Pacific spokesman Richard Rojo said Thursday that the school does not consider the incident to be a rape.Cara of the Curvature picked up on my tweet about this statement and I recommend reading her post which goes into how often date rape is given a definition beyond rape committed by someone known to the victim. In the comments of her post a UoP student said this man doesn't represent the views of this university and while this man may not represent the views of many people there, he is the official spokesperson and until he retracts this statement or is relieved of duty, he does represent the views of this university.
"We would call it date rape," he said.
Rojo said the university considers "outright rape" and date rape to be different, in that date rape does not involve "a rapist jumping out of bushes and attacking people randomly."
He said, "These are people who knew each other. ... It's a social situation and unfortunately an all-too common problem at universities.
This view from a university spokesperson is very dangerous since it devalues all the positive attributes of this university which was founded in 1851. While many other university spokespeople will not make this claim so boldly many universities reflect this man's attitudes through their sexual assault policies or even their lack of a sexual assault policy.
This position, whether spoken boldly or spoken through actions, gives non-stranger rapists help in rationalizing their crimes. It gives those who learn about non-stranger rapes the freedom to do a half-hearted investigation which will end abruptly whenever the case has conflicting evidence or bumps up against dangerous biases such as whether the rape victim flirted or made any sexually provocative statements prior to rape.
At it's worst this attitude communicates to college rapists that if they want to be treated favorably by the university that all they need to do is introduce themselves prior to committing rape.
Non-sex crimes are not classified by whether they are committed randomly. They are classified by the severity of the crime. There's no such thing as first-degree random murder. Premeditation happens when victims are strangers and premeditation happens when victims are friends, partners or parents.
Committing a crime in a social situation should never be a viable defense, but since it is often treated as a viable defense that explains why, as Rojo admitted, sexual assaults are "an all-too common problem at universities."