EDITORIAL: Publicize sexual assault policy
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2012 20:05
Last Thursday, Faculty Senate Chair Tim Hickey (COSI) announced at the faculty meeting that the Senate will form a committee to assess the University’s sexual assault procedures as compared to other universities.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice, one in four women will be sexually assaulted during their college careers. At Brandeis, this translates into roughly 120 women in every class. As sexual assault is a problem that universally permeates college campuses, we appreciate that the administration is critically evaluating its procedures for any potential shortcomings. It is both healthy and productive to inspect policies that carry such significance.
Along with assessing the University’s policies on sexual assault, we also urge the administration to educate students about school policies and available resources for victims. While the information about where to report a sexual assault and the various offices available for students to contact are prominently featured on the Department of Public Safety’s website, the University’s policies and approach to sexual misconduct are only available on the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards’ website. By consolidating these resources in one place, they will be more easily accessible to students.
Further, the University should consider holding seminars during Orientation to advertise the resources that are available and then routinely reminding students where to find these resources through pamphlets and flyers over the course of the year.
Sexual assault is an important issue on every college campus. We hope that the committee’s work is beneficial and that the University takes this opportunity to further educate the community about sexual assault and campus policy.