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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

June 20, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Editorial poses false dichotomy

In your editorial (January 25), you emphasize the need for nuanced conversations following your story about the charges of sexual abuse brought against president Shirley Collado by a former patient of hers in 2001. Yet, neither the initial story and nor the editorial reveals any nuance. Basically, you’ve posed a false dichotomy: between believing Collado and believing her former patient about the details about what happened between them. No one on this campus is in a position to determine the truth which is known only to both these women, so that choice isn’t ours to make. A court of law already adjudicated on that issue over a decade ago. So, what we are left with is a different set of questions than the ones you’ve posed about mental health, sexual abuse, and the law: did Collado enter the College under false pretenses; did she evade punishment for her actions; did she hide her side of the story; and, does she pose a danger to all people suffering from mental health issues on this campus? Well, we know she didn’t enter the College clandestinely and we know she carried out her sentence; we also know her side of the story and no one who doesn’t want to believe it is compelled to do so but should they also ask themselves why not? In the end, then, the question is whether Collado’s presidency is going to open the door to sexual abuse, especially of vulnerable people, on this campus. Seriously?

Asma Barlas