Content warning: This editorial discusses instances of sexual assault.

In light of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the editorial board is addressing Brandeis’ inadequate administrative support for student survivors. As tour groups move through campus, prospective and admitted students questioning on-campus safety are assured that “the vast majority of our students, faculty, staff and visitors do not experience crime here,” which Brandeis’ public safety website reads. 

However, outdated statistics touted in the University’s 2022 crime report, a revolving door of Office of Equal Opportunity leaders, and a 10,000-plus-square-foot Title IX violation sitting in plain sight, students are questioning the University’s commitment to protecting those facing gender-based violence and discrimination. 

 The 1990 Clery Act is a federal statute that requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data to students and community members, support people impacted by violence, and publicly outline policies and procedures put into place to improve campus safety. Although Brandeis does have a crime log that details day-to-day reports made to Brandeis Police, as required by the Clery Act, Brandeis’ data collection regarding instances of sexual assault is inconsistent. 

 The Campus Climate Survey is one of the most extensive repositories that reports student satisfaction and safety. Yet, it’s only been administered in 2015, 2019, and 2022. Of these iterations, data is only publicly available from the 2015 and 2019 surveys. According to the 2019 survey report, the Campus Climate Survey is based on “elective responses” and contains a “relatively small data collection pool as compared with the student population at Brandeis.” In 2019, a self-reported 10% of men, 21% of women, and 36% of gender non-conforming participants experienced sexual assault. This is up from the 2015 responses: 5% male, 22% female and 35% “trans*/other.” 

This information, along with the rise in sexual assault from 2015 to 2019 is startling,. However, it’s likely not painting the full picture. According to the 2019 report, “Given the low response rates in both of these surveys, the results do not necessarily reflect the experience of all students but rather only that of the respondents.” 

The Clery Act does not require confidential resources to report data to community members. OEO is not a confidential resource and is thereby required to report extensive data including time, date, and locations of reported instances of violence. Yet, OEO’s “Data” page on their website is empty and only contains the words “Coming Soon.” This is unacceptable and does not uphold the spirit of the 1990 Clery Act. 

Per a previous Justice editorial, “Brandeis has routinely hidden behind the claim that the University is not affiliated with Greek life and has even advertised this on their websites, claiming that 0% of women joined sororities and 0% of men joined fraternities every year since 2016, which is untrue. 

Because of this, any Brandeis students assaulted or roofied by other Brandeis students off-campus have been routinely told this is somehow not a campus issue.”

 The Clery Act should prevent the University from circulating this misrepresentative data; however, the act stipulates that universities are only responsible for “any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution.” 

Since the University continues to hide behind  Greek life’s unaffiliated position , roofying — which has  allegedly occurred at Brandeis this year — and other forms of violence do not fall under University jurisdiction if they happen at an off-campus Greek life sponsored event.   

OEO and the Brandeis Police are two of the primary avenues that the administration urges students to take after misconduct has been perpetuated. For some, engaging with police is an uncomfortable and unsafe experience, which leaves OEO as the only resource staffed by full-time University employees that students can rely on. 

Even then, that reporting process is often drawn-out and difficult; if action is taken by the University the burden falls on survivors to protect themselves from perpetrators. One example of this is that survivors are forced to adjust their class schedules to avoid being in the same class as perpetrators, or to adjust their housing plans to avoid living near their assaulters. 

The inefficiency in reporting, resolving and responding to issues of violence on and off campus, works well for Brandeis’ image and public relations making it so that they can tout claims of a safe campus and low violence statistics, but this does not serve current or prospective students. Students deserve to know what is happening on their campus, and they deserve to feel confident that they will be cared for should they encounter violence of any kind. 

Pertinent data is difficult to find, data collection is inconsistently carried out, and the data available to students is not representative of the real experiences of students on this campus. We are calling for more transparency and more data related to sexual violence; however, we want to ensure that this data collection should never come at the expense of survivor support and resources. 

We also call on the University to invest more into sexual assault resources, especially at a therapeutic level. Brandeis doesn’t provide long term mental health resources for its students. Sexual assault and sexual violence are incredibly traumatic, often requiring long term mental health care.

Feeling safe on Brandeis’ campus is a right, not a privilege. This board is grateful to the students that have taken it upon themselves to recognize this and have stepped up to support their peers when administration has failed to. 

We recognize and acknowledge the extensive, trauma-informed, and peer-to-peer spaces groups including, but not limited, to PARC, SSIS and 6Talk have provided the Brandeis community; we also recognize that sexual violence is an enormous issue on college campuses across the country and is something that has been primarily tackled by students. 

Across the board and here at Brandeis, it should not solely be on the shoulders of undergraduates to keep our university communities safe. 


Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center:

A trained advocate is always available via the 24/7 counseling and rape crisis hotline: 781-736-3370. PARC Peer Advocates offer confidential advocacy to those impacted by many forms of violence, including domestic violence, and those supporting them, and are available Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m., any day class is in session via chat or text, in-person appointment or hotline. PARC also provides training for Safe(r) Party and Event Toolkit Workshop for “planning the safest events possible.” For non-emergency questions, presentation requests or appointment scheduling, you can email

Office of Equal Opportunity: Students can pursue a Title IX process through the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Dean of Students Office: Students can request No Contact Orders by emailing the DOSO at or by phone, 781-736-3600. 

Student Sexuality Information Services: SSIS is a student-run organization that promotes sexual health through peer counseling, outreach, products, referrals and a resource library. Their office is located on the third floor of the SCC, room 328.

Students Talking About Relationships: STAR is a completely student-run and -led support group that is trained in topics such as LGBTQIA+, sexual assault, food sensitivities, stress, as well as relationships and domestic violence. STAR offers in-person, confidential, one-on-one support in their office in the SCC, room 324, and has an anonymous and confidential text line offered during most nights of the week (see Brandeis 6TALK).

Brandeis 6TALK: Brandeis 6TALK is an anonymous peer hotline run by dedicated peer listeners. You can reach them at 781-736-TALK (781-736-8255) from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday through Wednesday nights.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: The Hotline provides 24/7 support via their hotline (1-800-799-7233) and resources for prevention, crisis intervention and safety planning. 

REACH: REACH provides emergency shelter, education and prevention programming and a 24/7 confidential hotline. 

Brandeis Department of Public Safety: In case of emergency, students may choose to contact Public Safety at 781-736-3333.