A recent Inside Higher Ed commissioned Gallop to poll 647 college presidents. The survey showed that 78% of college presidents think that their campuses are problem-free when it comes to sexual assault. They go even as far as believing that their institutions are high performers in protecting their female students from sexual assault.
How could they not know that over a hundred colleges are undergoing investigations by the Department of Education about concerns regarding how they have handled sexual violence reports. Fewer than one-third of cases investigated result in expulsion. Many of the victims feel that the institutions are in violation of the Title IX federal gender equity law. A standout hockey player at the University of Alabama at Huntsville confessed to raping a female student, but the school decided not to expel him. Just as alarming is that many of the students found guilty of the crime can transfer without disclosing their offence.
It is as if the presidents of these institutions have their heads stuck in the sand while the administrations are turning to public relations tactics to appease the parents and the media. Students at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte won a NCAA backed competition for a video they made showing that they take sexual assault seriously.
There are a lot of changes that need to be made. Hopefully, these colleges and universities will address the issue over the summer break. And announce some new and more solution-oriented policies come fall. And hopefully not the public relations campaigns that we’ve witnessed so far.