The Trump administration on Thursday it is rolling back Obama-era guidelines mandating how colleges handle sexual assault and rape investigations. Survivors and colleges are grappling with what that means on campus.
Steve Coll, the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, has published a comprehensive report on a Rolling Stone story about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia. The report finds the magazine fell short on multiple counts, citing faulty reporting, editing and fact checking. It’s a bad day for journalism, but Columbia and other colleges and universities are hoping the 12,000-word report shows why journalism schools still matter today.
The new film The Hunting Ground looks at the so-called rape epidemic on college campuses, and how colleges contribute to the issue by deliberately silencing victims, overturning the convictions of rapists, and erasing the truth about how often assaults happen.
Rolling Stone acknowledged Friday serious discrepancies in a story published last month about a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at the University of Virginia. Editors had said they decided to honor Jackie's request not to contact the man she claimed coordinated her attack for fear of retaliation. In a letter to their readers, they admitted that was a mistake.
Nearly 90 colleges and universities are now under formal investigation for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases on campus. Many aspects of the reporting process - and what happens afterward - are now under review, including whose responsibility it is to report cases of sexual assault. Many colleges put resident assistants, who live in dorms, squarely in the middle of the issue.
In an unprecedented broad-based survey, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology polled students about their attitudes and experiences with sexual assault on campus. One in six female undergraduate students who responded to the survey say they've experienced sexual assault on the Cambridge campus, although fewer than 5 percent reported the experience to authorities or to the school.
Call it a sign of the times that right along with required writing core courses, incoming freshmen at most schools this fall will also face a mandatory crash course on the subject of sexual assault.
At a Rutgers University orientation, for example, every freshman sits through a dramatization of the campus party scene that is as real as it is raw. In the performance, a character, Jess, winds up in fellow student Ryan's room, resisting his advances. Ryan persists and gets increasingly angry and aggressive. The scene ends with the Jess character wailing, and with students in the audience wide-eyed and stunned.
For the first time, the US Department of Education released a full list of colleges and universities facing sexual abuse investigations and six Massachusetts colleges are on the list.
The schools include Amherst, Boston University, Emerson, Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All are under investigation for the mishandling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.