Sexual assault on campus: What’s happening nationwide


Survey shows college students struggle to define sexual assault

 Time Magazine reports: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted a survey asking about students’ experiences with sexual assault in an effort to combat the widespread problem of on-campus sexual violence. However, the survey shed light on a “troubling statistic:” that students struggle with the definition of sexual assault and what constitutes rape. Even though 17 percent of female undergraduates reported experiencing sexual force of threats, only 11 percent checked yes to being sexually assaulted.

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College senior defines consent for fraternity brothers

The Washington Post reports: Ian Tolino, a senior at the University of Maryland, is a member of the Campus Advocates Respond and Educate to Stop Violence program. He gives presentations meant to educate college students about ‘yes means yes’, an affirmative consent policy meant to alleviate the burden from the victim of ‘proving’ rape allegations. Tolino says teaching consent is important. “Because someone decides to rape a woman. Not because a woman ‘let herself get raped.’ No. This is something that falls on us,” Tolino said.

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Colleges are reporting more sexual assaults

 The Washington Post reports: Statistics show that U.S. college reports of sexual misconduct are rising. Reports of forcible sexual assaults on college campuses are up The article states that the statistics suggest that more college students and employees are reporting cases of sexual assault as they occur. The school with the highest number of reports for forcible sex offences was Penn State University, followed by The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

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Student who reported sexual assault wishes she hadn’t

 The New York Times reports: An 18-year-old freshman at Hobart and William Smith Colleges says she was sexually assaulted two weeks after starting school there. After reporting her assault to school officials, she had to speak at a disciplinary hearing and was questioned by a panel. “It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through,” she said of the hearing.

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Sanctions given for sexual assault on campuses

 The Huffington Post reports: “Less than one-third of students found responsible of sexual assault are expelled from their colleges.” Data from 32 different colleges and universities show the ways in which sexual assault has been punished. Tyler Kingkade, reporting for The Huffington Post, suggests that the Association for Student Conduct Administration is the reason for the lack of expulsions, since it calls for punishment to be “educational,” not “punitive.”

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ASCA’s response:

Sexual assault case against Florida quarterback dropped

 The New York Times reports: A female student accused Freshman Treon Harris, a quarterback for the University of Florida, of sexually assaulting her, only to withdraw her criminal complaint shortly after. The university originally responded by suspending Harris from all team activities. “We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus,” Bernie Machen, the university president, said. However, with the legal process “complete,” Harris has been reinstated to the team and the university will not respond with any further action.

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Annual campus crime reports show more sexual assaults

 The Huffington Post reports: As of October, the numbers of sexual assault cases keep going up. However, this could actually be a positive sign. “It suggests that more victims are coming forward — rather than that more crime is taking place.” Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities were required to release annual crime reports on Oct. 1. The schools accused of “botching these numbers in the past” have reports showing a significant increase in sex offences.

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Are accused college rapists receiving due process?

 New Republic reports: Judith Shulevitz, in an article for The New Republic, questions whether colleges and universities use appropriate and fair procedures when investigating sexual assault, consistent with the rights of the accused. “At Harvard, the Title IX enforcement office acts as cop, prosecutor, judge, and jury—and also hears the appeals,” the article states.

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More coverage of sexual assault nationwide

 The Huffington Post: On its online website, The Huffington Post has a section of stories covering sexual assault on college and university campuses and related topics titled, “Breaking the Silence:”

Time Magazine: On the topic of sexual assault, Time Magazine has a section with numerous stories and resources:

— Links compiled by Michaela Noble

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