The Obama Administration recently released recommendations for strengthening the laws around protecting college students from harassment and sexual assault. The report, Not Alone, comes three months after the creation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Not Alone and its accompanying website, NotAlone.gov, recommends new practices for colleges and universities nationwide.
Some of the recommendations aren’t bad—more polling data can help fill in the gaps created by underreporting, prevention programs are probably worth a try. But ultimately none of the recommendations address the fundamental issue with on-campus rape, and leave intact a system seemingly designed to fail.
The system for adjudicating on-campus sexual assault currently in place utterly fails victims, the accused, administrators and fellow students and faculty. The problem began in the 1970s, with the passing of Title IX. The law includes a provision requiring schools to independently investigate reports of sexual assault and harassment.