Collegiate sexual assault rates should be publicly available

As college decisions continue to be released and seniors begin to decide where they will attend college in the fall and juniors begin their college application process, it is important to have a comprehensive overview of these institutions of higher education. Many students use a variety of tools to research their prospective schools including testimonies, websites, guides and campus visits, which together paint a generally holistic view of the college.

However, what is missing from these resources is an accurate understanding of the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses. While websites and guides provide a plethora of helpful statistics, including general crime and safety, they lack more specific information in this arena. Especially in today’s climate, where collegiate sexual assault is becoming a national discussion, this kind of information should be easily accessible to students.

According to the non-profit “One in Four” in a nationwide study with anonymous reports on multicampus surveys spanning thousands of colleges, one in four college women have survived sexual assault with five percent of women on college campuses experiencing sexual assault every year. National statistics are readily available, but statistics for specific schools are not. Students have the right to know this information when making their decision about where to attend college. Colleges should make this information readily available on the various mediums students use to research colleges, so students can make informed decisions regarding their future safety.

The Campanile hopes that making these statistics readily available to prospective students will not only help students make better informed college decisions, but hopefully colleges will be further incentivized to decrease sexual assault and rape on their campuses. According to “One in Four,” the national collegiate sexual assault statistics have not changed since the 1980s, so hopefully more transparent, individual statistics will lead to expansions in preventive measures.