Prospective College Students: Ask About Sexual Assault Before You Commit To Attending
When students and their parents are looking at colleges there are many different elements to consider. The most obvious include the price of tuition, average SAT scores, location, and Apps to survive college. CollegeProwler.com provide ratings for factors that students find crucial to their college experience such as nightlight, student attractiveness, and food. Once the decision is made, visions of college parties and hook-ups dance in their minds. What students may not think to consider, however, is the incidents of sexual assault and rape on their campus.
Most colleges do not publicize the rate of sexual assault on their campus, and why would they If they did they could lose prospective students, prestige, and, most importantly, money. Even when colleges do address the subject, the statistics reported are oftentimes much lower than the rate of actual incidents. Several prestigious universities, including Harvard, UC Berkeley, Florida State University, Vanderbilt, and Dartmouth, were named in a federal investigation into the way sexual assault cases are handled on campus. Victims of sexual assault frequently do not report the incident because of feelings of guilt and embarrassment; in some cases, victims may not be sure whether to call it assault when alcohol and drugs are involved.
UltraViolet — an advocacy organization that spreads awareness of sexual assault cases on college campuses and promotes greater student safety from assault and rape — recently launched a series of online ads illustrating issues of rape at several institutions of higher learning. These online ads appear in search results when prospective students are at venues close to the “rape problem” campuses and when they search for these problem schools on Facebook or via other search engines like Google.
Alongside these advertisements, UltraViolet is also putting pressure on The Princeton Review to include sexual assault statistics in their college reviews and rankings. The Princeton Review is an essential tool for parents and students during the college planning process. It provides information about almost every facet of a school, but it does not address sexual assault. UltraViolet has also launched an online petition to apply more pressure on The Princeton Review to include sexual assault rankings in their review. UltraViolet believes that spreading knowledge about the way rape cases are mishandled, will help students to make well-informed decisions regarding schools.
Some colleges and universities across the United States, are finding better ways for sexual assault victims to share their stories. In some instances, there are events for students that encourage conversation and openness about sexual assault. These events create better transparency around the issue, and may strong-arm colleges to take better steps to prevent sexual assault cases on campuses.
What do you think about UltraViolet and sexual assault on college campuses? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich