To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Deeply disturbing parallel stories, both involving the assault of women, appeared in the May 28 edition of the Berkshire Eagle.
The first article, "Petition: Change rape policy," describes, among other things, the events following the alleged rape of a Williams freshman woman by a Williams hockey player. After disciplinary action began at the college, the woman claims to have been harassed by other members of the hockey "family" including being the target of full beer cans thrown at her head -- stoned, if you will. While the woman withdrew from Williams College and has continued her education elsewhere, the alleged rapist, after a three-semester suspension, is being allowed to return to Williams full-time to continue his education.
The second article, datelined Lahore, Pakistan, is entitled "Pregnant woman stoned to death by her family." Her father, brothers and other relatives killed her with bricks for marrying against their wishes.
We are sure the community finds both these articles horrifying. In colleges across this country, hundreds of women are raped each year. Some are encouraged to accept investigations offered by their colleges rather than pursuing police involvement.
We encourage Williams College to take immediate action against crimes on its campus -- not study the problem for four years without a definitive result -- by actively involving governmental authorities, be they local, state or federal, especially in the case of felony crimes, including rape.
Our annual contribution to Williams College, made regularly since 1961, will not be made this year. Instead, we will be supporting the local rape crisis center. And we hope Williams College will hear the messages being sent to it, loud and clear, and deal strongly and immediately with the problem of rape, and other crimes, on its campus.
MARSHALL A. LAPIDUS
SUZANNE L. GORDON