Letter to the editor: Catcalling issue was an eye opener

I was taken aback when I read about the so-called “lobby boys” who reportedly have been harassing women in the dorms. While I know that some players feel they’ve gotten a bad rap, since they’re innocent of these accusations but presumed guilty by association, I believe the young women who say that they are repeatedly harassed. (My daughter and her girlfriends experience the same thing in Wichita, especially when walking around Old Town.)

Here at HutchCC, I don’t know who’s reported what to whom, but, of course, I advise anyone who’s harassed to report it.

Now that this important topic is being talked about across campus, I think our young women should take it a step further. When men catcall in the lobby at the dorms, or elsewhere on campus, perhaps don’t just walk by (especially if you’re with friends). Instead look the offender(s) in the face and say “Stop it!” with a voice that shows you mean it. Then, take a video! I think that anyone who sees harassment should support the victim by immediately taking a video and then forwarding it to Jake Gunden, our Coordinator of Equity and Compliance, as well as to the appropriate coach if the offenders are student-athletes. If these young men are football players, then I think Coach Rion Rhoades would like to know. Finally, as for players who are not members of the “lobby boys” (some whom are my students), maybe it’s time to step up and be the leaders many of you say you are. Talk to your teammates. Our women need to see that the fine young men we have on campus – who know how to treat women with respect – will support them in their efforts to simply walk around campus without being subjected to these reprehensible “compliments.”

Janet Cook, English and Technical Writing Professor

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