Debate At Boston U Extends To Safety

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, February 27, 2012

A controversy that began with the arrests of two Boston University ice hockey players on sexual assault charges has mushroomed into a broader debate about women’s safety after a recent graduate called the school’s behavioral health hot line late at night and found only what she called “a useless loop of automated menus.’’

The school, roiled by the assault charges, is forming a task force to investigate its hockey culture. Administrators said the hot line issue stemmed from a misunderstanding and they immediately took steps to remedy it.

“We don’t take a passive or laissez-faire approach,’’ said Margaret Ross, BU’s head of behavioral medicine, noting that the school offers a wide variety of resources, including two highly trained on-call crisis counselors, one of whom counseled the woman who accused a hockey player of rape this week.

But women’s advocates at BU said bigger changes would be needed to address a pervasive “rape culture’’ at the school, one they said was exemplified by recent comments by longtime hockey coach Jack Parker.

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