Student senator steps down after Facebook post about rape culture

By Jess Hodge | 4/5/17 12:18am


Following a Facebook post Tuesday, April 4 that read "rape culture isn't real," Patrick Borum, a Grand Valley State University student, has stepped down from his elected position as student senator.

GVSU's student senate elections ran from Monday, March 27, to Saturday, April 1, during which Borum received 201 votes and was thus elected onto the 2017-18 senate body.

Ella Fritzemeier, student senate president, made the following statement about the social media post via email:

"Individual student's perspectives do not reflect the perspective of all of student senate. As student senate, representing the students at Grand Valley State University, we support prevention, education, and awareness surrounding the issue of sexual assault," she said. "We believe that we are here to provide these resources for students to do our best to prevent sexual misconduct on our campus.

"Additionally while the student in question was just recently elected, he has since voluntarily resigned from student senate."

In an emailed statement, Borum made it clear he did not support or condone rape or sexual assault of any kind. He said he made the post with the following in mind:

"I believe that the idea that our American culture accepts, encourages, or tolerates rape/sexual assault on a widespread scale is false," he said. "I believe that most people are good and that most people are disgusted by even the thought of rape or sexual assault. There will always be exceptions, but I believe that we do not live in a society where rape is encouraged."

Borum also said members of fraternities were recently issued a required survey by GVSU. He said the survey was "extremely suggestive" and there were leading questions within the survey that seemed to show Greek Life in a negative light.

While Borum is apologetic for the post if people felt attacked by it, he stands by what he wrote.

"I post and share ideas on Facebook all the time. Today one of my posts really upset some people and I am disappointed and apologetic to those who feel attacked by it," Borum said. "I, however, do not recant my post. I believe it to be true and at the end of the day, want what everybody else wants: no sexual assault / rape."

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