Across Vanderbilt, posters that read, “Sex without consent is sexual assault,” were plastered around campus. At Yale last September, students received a lesson on the difference between “nonconsensual sex” and "rape." And at Dartmouth, faculty members are being trained as sexual assault first responders.
In the last year, a slew of universities have been accused of mishandling sexual assault, and President Obama appointed a task force in January to specifically investigate the issue. In response, many schools are doing the muddy work of trying to address a problem that can be uncomfortable to even talk about.
Some are clarifying what sexual assault is, and the punishments that result. A few are bringing in external fact-finders to investigate sexual assault cases, and have hired new administrators to oversee complaints. There are plenty of initiatives and new easy-to-use websites for victims. Dartmouth and Vanderbilt are even creating dedicated centers for sexual violence prevention.
But are these new policies and initiatives working?
As part of our special ongoing coverage of Sex Crimes on Campus and our new campaign #TrackingAssault, America Tonight is exploring what colleges and universities across the country are doing to better address the problem on their campuses, and asking college students to weigh in on whether those changes are working.
Using the submission box below or the #TrackingAssault hashtag on social media, tell us any of the following:
- Does your college or university handle sexual assault well?
- Has you school made any changes, and what impact have they had?
- Are student attitudes about sexual assault changing?
- What more could your school do?
We’ll share what we’re learning from your answers in future reports.