If Cornell truly wants to see a reduction in incidents of gender-based violence like the one that ended the life of Shannon Jones on Thanksgiving, the school needs to do more to change the culture that has allowed this sort of violence to persist on campus.
The Campus Accountability and Safety Act would designate confidential advisors to counsel sexual assault survivors on their options, stiffen penalties for universities that don’t do enough to address sexual assault, and require colleges to survey their students about their experiences.
The students, all female survivors of sexual assault and harassment while attending UC Berkeley, allege that the university administration failed to properly respond to sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus.
Three months have passed since Swarthmore College introduced a centralized sexual assault and harassment reporting system, meant to rectify the many issues exposed in two federal complaints alleging the school has mishandled sexual assault cases on campus. But not everyone is happy with the new system.
Swarthmore is among a number of colleges and universities that are being investigated by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for violating Title IX by creating a “hostile environment” and discouraging students from reporting or pursuing disciplinary action against sexual misconduct.