Campus Sexual Assault

October 31, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 39
Do colleges handle allegations fairly?
By Barbara Mantel


Sexual assault victim Annie Clark (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Sexual assault victim Annie Clark, co-founder of End Rape on Campus, embraces Anna, who was assaulted at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. The women appeared at a news conference to support legislation to require schools to more effectively investigate and adjudicate sexual assault cases. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

Charges of rape and other sexual assaults on college and university campuses — and how school officials investigate and adjudicate them — are receiving unprecedented attention. Young women who believe their schools mishandled their cases have formed advocacy groups, and they and others have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education, which is investigating 86 colleges and universities. The White House created a special task force on campus sexual assault, and Congress passed legislation last year mandating training for school personnel and ongoing education for students on the issue. But as momentum builds to hold schools more accountable, civil libertarians say the pressure is leading schools to violate the rights of accused students. Meanwhile, the standard of evidence schools use when deciding sexual assault cases is under debate, along with whether schools' adoption of so-called affirmative consent for sexual encounters is too intrusive, and whether schools should turn over all investigations to police.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sexual Behavior
Feb. 22, 2019  Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Apr. 28, 2017  Sports and Sexual Assault
Oct. 21, 2016  Pornography
Apr. 15, 2016  Decriminalizing Prostitution
Oct. 31, 2014  Campus Sexual Assault
Apr. 27, 2012  Sexual Harassment
Jan. 22, 2010  Sex Scandals
May 23, 2008  Prostitution Debate
Nov. 04, 1994  Sex on Campus
Jun. 11, 1993  Prostitution
Jul. 13, 1984  Sexual Revolution Reconsidered
Aug. 25, 1971  Legalization of Prostitution
Apr. 01, 1970  Sexual Revolution: Myth or Reality
Dec. 30, 1963  Sex on the Campus
Crime and Law Enforcement
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Student Movements
Students and Social Life