They say the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you’ve got one. And if you’re the president of a college or university, you do. You’ve got a big one. But as it turns out, despite the innumerable news stories, data, and accounts of personal experiences, university officials by and large, do not see sexual assault as a problem on campus.
The 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Presidents was released last week. After polling 647 college and university presidents on a wide variety of topics such as higher education outcomes, budget and finances, and race relations, we learn the shocking outcomes of their views on sexual assault.
• Only one third responded that they agree or strongly agree that sexual assault is prevalent at American colleges and universities
• “But not at my school” – only 6% agreed or strongly agreed that it was prevalent at their institution
• About half (52 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that fraternities play a disproportionate role in sexual assaults on campus.
• More than 75 percent felt that their campus was going a good job protecting women from sexual assault
• Nine out of 10 presidents feel their school provides appropriate due process for those accused of sexual assault on campus
Let that sink in for a minute. Once you do, I’ll assume you’re going to arrive at the same place I did: “Are these people fucking delusional?!?!?!” According to The Huffington Post, “The Department of Education is currently investigating 101 colleges and universities due to concerns that those institutions have violated Title IX, the federal gender equity law, in their handling of sexual violence cases.” A Washington Post story from last year stated that reports of forcible sex offenses on college campuses are rising; in 2012, there were more than 3,900 reports of sexual assault at universities across the country, which is up 50 percent in the span of three years. And depending on which study you believe, anywhere from one in three to one in ten women will be assaulted during her college years.
And yet, 75 percent of presidents think their campus is doing a good job protecting women from sexual assault. I think it’s time for a reality check here, administrators. Because, clearly, the numbers don’t add up. And until you’re willing to admit there’s a problem, it’s only going to keep getting worse..
[via The Huffington Post]