Marquette implies support for Campus SaVE Act (S. 834)

In the past, Marquette responded to sexual violence on campus in accordance with the student conduct code. Now, Marquette understands a college campus is not a sovereign nation.

In the data: The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study

A 2007 campus sexual-assault study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, surveyed 5,446 undergraduate women and 1,375 undergraduate men at two large public Universities (one in the South and one in the Midwest).  Over 28 percent of the female participants had experienced attempted or completed sexual assault (either before or while attending college).

In the news:
Marquette revises sexual assault policies

"The university has publicly acknowledged that we made mistakes in dealing with these incidents.  We worked quickly and proactively to correct those procedures, both to be sensitive to victims and to comply with Wisconsin state law," [Marquette University President Father Robert A. Wild] said in a statement.  "We now refer any reported incident of sexual assault to the Sensitive Crimes Unit of the Milwaukee Police Department.  We have also added a victim advocate to the staff of our Student Health Service and have more tightly restricted who on campus has access to reports from the Department of Public Safety."
The announcements come in the wake of the first public comments Wednesday from a former Marquette student who said the university dismissed her allegation that she was sexually assaulted in February by a student athlete.

Two women accused student athletes of sexual assault during the last school year at Marquette's Humphrey Hall - one during an incident Oct. 30 and another Feb. 27.

Student athletes who were involved in the two cases were disciplined under the student conduct code as well as athletic department rules, according to the university, but officials didn't immediately forward either case to Milwaukee police.

In an interview published Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune, one of the women, who left the school shortly after the alleged assault, said that she reported an incident at a student athlete's campus apartment to campus security, but two officers dismissed her claims because she said the encounter was at first consensual but became an assault.  No report was taken; Milwaukee police were not notified.

In Congress: S. 834 Campus SaVE Act

In this bill, the findings of Congress include:
(1) Between 20 and 25 percent of female students will experience some form of sexual assault during their years at an institution of higher education, and nearly 3 percent of all such women become victims of either attempted or completed rape in each 9-month academic year.
(5) Students are more likely to report a sexual assault when they know how to report a sexual assault and how a school will respond if such a report is made, yet fewer than half of the institutions of higher education in the United States have written policies for filing criminal charges and campus reports related to sexual assault.

(6) Only 1/3 of the institutions of higher education in the United States report their crime statistics correctly, resulting in statistics in which instances of sexual assault have been misclassified and underrepresented.  Less than half of all institutions of higher education in the United States offer any sexual assault training, and such training is often provided only for resident advisers and security officers.

Although the Campus Sexual Assault study and Campus SaVE Act focus on the ubiquity of sexual assault on college women, Campus SaVE will improve safety for all college students.

Hypothesis: Marquette showed support for Campus SaVE Act with voluntary implementation of safety improvements.

Reports of rape on Marquette University campus will skyrocket.  This will not represent a rise in the perpetration of rape.

Actual police work will be conducted to hinder perpetrators and bring them to justice.  Serial rapes will go down.  Wanna-be rapists will be deterred.  Victims will receive better post-trauma care.

Students will graduate stronger and healthier.

Future work: Ask U.S. Senators Kohl and Johnson to co-sponsor the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act (S. 834). Tell them Marquette showed its support with voluntary safety improvements.

Wisconsin Senator contact form (facilitated by the American Association of University Women).

Update, July 5, 2011: Bill Sponsors
  • Robert Casey (D-PA), 4/14/2011
  • Patty Murray (D-WA), 4/14/2011
  • Olympia Snowe (R-ME), 6/9/2011
  • Richard Durbin (D-IL), 6/14/2011
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), 6/21/2011
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), 6/23/2011
  • Jon Tester (D-MT), 6/27/2011

Fun with resources:

Friday, June 24, 2011


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