Commonly used phrase at SDSU is insensitive

John Schmidt Web Editor

“My car is parked in rape lot, will you go out there with me?” 

This phrase, uttered what seems to me quite often, irritates me. It’s as if the words, as my ears intake them and my brain decodes them, jump into my nerves and make me leer or cringe all in an instant. 

Do the people who utter the phrase actually have to call it that? Can’t we call it something else? Like, I don’t know, the parking lot? “My car is parked in the parking lot.” Do we really have to tack on a word associated with a horrific act to it? 

Type in “Rape Lot” in a Twitter search and see what people are saying. You’ll notice it isn’t something that is just an issue at SDSU. Oklahoma State and University of Wisconsin Stout, seem to have a parking lot, located on a far end of campus to advocate a walking community, which students label as a “rape lot.”

It’s as if those who call it “rape lot” have no sympathy whatsoever for those who have been sexually assaulted or know someone who was sexually assaulted. They don’t care about those people when they voice the location of their car in a public place with that term. A word, like rape: four letters, a noun, a horrible, disgusting act committed across the world, is used to label a parking lot by people who were probably not affected by it at all. Words like rape are considered trigger words, which are words that if said, they could spark something that can affect someone emotionally.  This four letter; one syllable trigger word, if heard by someone affected by it, can trigger and reactivate the traumatic event all over again, or it can trigger the empathy and pain of someone who knows someone who went through it. And it really bothers me at my core to think that the student body, the future leaders of the world, lacks the maturity to think critically about how calling a parking lot “rape lot” affects people.  

SDSU administration already has a name for the parking lot, the Southeast lot. Not that bad of a name. Pretty solid, if I do say so myself, it sure is a hell of a lot better than “rape lot.” Do people call it “rape lot” because it’s a shorter word than southeast? That’s probably not the case, I feel. They most likely call it that because their friends do or they heard someone say it around them or maybe they got scared when they themselves were walking back from the parking lot and figured they should just jump on the bandwagon. 

How can we stop this? Lets start by simply not calling it that anymore. Not just because rape is a bad word, but because when people say “rape lot” in a public space, it can trigger the traumatic event for someone who went though it. So let’s be compassionate and caring about others and events they may have experienced by not calling it “rape lot.” 

There are myriad other names that lot could be called, so can we stop calling it “rape lot” please?


John Schmidt is The Collegian’s Web Editor. He can be reached at [email protected].