UPDATE: Student offers apology, steps down from leadership positions

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An Augustana College student comes forward after a video of him talking about sex went viral. 

It’s the latest development in a story we first brought you Wednesday.

Local 4 News got a copy of an e-mail that went out to students today. 

It’s from the school’s office of student life leadership. 

The college student shown in the video apologizes for what he said three years ago. 

He says his comments were “ignorant and immature.”

The student went on to say he  stepped down from his leadership roles on campus: 


The student’s fraternity also sent out an email today indicating they have kicked him out of their group because of his actions:

The student’s name is never shared in any of the messages. 

While Augustana College is highlighting resources for survivors one advocate says it’s also time to start addressing the issue before college.

“This is a problem. This is an issue and it does affect everybody,” says Maggie Gehlsen, a sexual assault survivor turned advocate. 

She says the viral video depicting Agustana College students talking about a sex act shows a bigger problem in rape culture and consent. 

“So many students arrive to campus uninformed of what they’re rights are and uninformed of how they can be helped should they be in a situation like sexual assault,” Gehlsen says. 

In the clip, a student is heard saying, “College is all about sex, so I mean let it happen.”

Gehlsen says correcting that culture needs to start early. 

“This is a fundamental flaw in our education system where kids have no idea what it means to be consensual in sexual activity. It’s a part of sex-ed that I never got when I was in high school,” says Gehlsen. 

Emily Gordon works with survivors at Family Resources andsays part of the education involves knowing that sexual assault includes a range of nonconsenual acts.

“Obscene phone calls, fondling, sexual harrassment. The numbers are even more frightening, half of all women are exposed to those things and one in five men,” Gordon says.

Gehlsen says those numbers indicate why everybody should care about the climate on college campuses.

“The way that I see it is that each one of us knows somebody that’s affected by sexual violence, whether we know it or not,” Gehlsen says.

EARLIER UPDATE:

A viral video of some students from Augustana College is getting a response from a survivors support group.

We first brought you this story on Wednesday

The three-year-old video resurfaced online recently with more than 70,000 views. 

It depicts students talking about sex and using profanity. 

College administrators condemn the video.

Students we spoke with yesterday tell us the video is disturbing. 

Emily Gordon is the Illinois director for survivor services at Family Resources.

She says she hasn’t seen the video, but has heard about it.

When hearing about students’ reactions, she says she wants survivors as well as others troubled by the video to know there are people who will listen and help. 

Gordon says Family Resources has a staff member on Augustana College’s campus regularly but says you can also seek help off campus or even over the phone. 

“You can go through your college campus and access services but you can also go the other direction if you feel that’s not safe. There are lots of reasons people might not be comfortable, some of them are based in reality and some of them aren’t– it doesn’t really matter, the fact is you want people to get the support they need,” Gordon says.

Family Resources has a 24/7 hotline available for survivors in both Illinois and Iowa.

  • Illinois Crisis Line: 309.797.1777
  • Iowa Crisis Line: 866.921.3354

Augustana College also has a page dedicated to explaining how to get help and file a report. 
 

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