Weakness of campus sexual assault policies revealed

When Julia Dixon, a 2011 graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, began compiling research to file a federal Clery Act complaint against her alma mater for the mishandling of sexual assault cases, she had a lot of ground to cover, writes Katie JM Baker for Newsweek.

Dixon was already angry that university administrators were ill informed about the school’s official protocols for reporting sexual misconduct and assault. But when she looked at them more closely while writing her federal complaint, she was shocked to find that large swaths appeared to have been copied, at times verbatim, from the policies of other colleges – and, in some cases, the University of Akron’s policy offered options that weren’t actually available on campus.

It’s painfully clear that more thought, more conversation and care needs to go into these protocols. Out of the nearly 300 sexual assault policies surveyed between 2007 and 2012 by the Campus Accountability Project, a national online database of sexual assault policies at US institutions of higher education, nearly 80% received a ‘C’ grade or lower and none received higher than a B+. Nearly one-third of policies were found not to comply with federal law.
Full report on the Newsweek site