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Letter from the Editor

There are too many unsolved problems with rape and the justice system in this college town

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Readers often ask us why we are reporting on what we report on. 

On Jan. 15, the Kaimin published “Still Missoula: How a reported rape reveals the faults between Greek Life and the justice system.” That story details how a UM student’s reported assault was passed from UM official to UM official, which left her feeling alone and unheard. 

And the reason we reported on this story and published it is simple: it’s our job. 

We don’t know every detail of what happened the night Jane Doe alleges she was raped or why the charges against the alleged offender were dropped. What we do know is that UM’s internal system of handling cases of reported sexual assault is dysfunctional. 

It is not our job to be judge and jury in this case; it’s our job to pay attention when something isn’t right, and present you with the facts. In this case, we wanted to show you that something at UM isn’t right. 

It’s not right that each Greek chapter has different standards for handling cases of sexual assault. 

It’s not right that Greek Life chapters — chapters that are affiliated with and under the supervision of the University of Montana — do not have to report expelling members from their chapters to the Greek Life director. 

It’s not right that the relationship between the University and Greek Life makes the process for handling cases of sexual assault unclear and dysfunctional. 

It’s not right that fraternities and sororities do not have to report alleged rapes to the University. 

It’s not right that after years of reform, a vindicating book and a federal investigation, the University is still not even close to meeting its own self-proclaimed standards of putting victims first.

We know that many of the stories we publish can make our readers, and sometimes our sources, angry. And for that, we will not apologize. 

We, like Jane Doe, are students. We are students who could find ourselves in the same situation. We are students who have a lot at stake in this issue. We are students who are angry at the University’s lack of ability to make it clear that if we are assaulted, something will be done about it. 

After months of reporting, re-thinking, revising and tearing this story apart, just to put it back together over and over again, it was worth it. It will always be worth it. 

We will never stop speaking up when something isn’t right. And we hope that you, too, will hold the University accountable for continuing to sweep these issues under the rug. Enough is enough.