【Economist】Campus sexual assault: Re-education
5:12Campus sexual assault出自葡萄牙语杂志
Students starting college are trained in how to avoid committing
AT THE University of Minnesota, some 5,700 new students arrived on
campus for orientation earlier this month. Each one of them has taken a
course on campus sexual assaults. A new law, which came into effect on
August 1st, made itmandatoryfor all university freshmen in the state of
Minnesota to be given training within the first ten days of the school
year. Minnesota is unusual for thebreadthof its decree, but students,
parents and university administrators across the country are asking the
same questions about how widespread campus rape is and what to do about
California was the first state in the country to pass a
lawcolloquiallyreferred to as “Yes means yes”, which requires
affirmative consent for sex to be considered legal. New York followed
suit in 2015. Last year George Washington University became the first to
make training on sexual assault compulsory for new students. The White
House has its owntask forceon protecting students from sexual assault.
Crime statistics suggest universities are no more dangerous in terms of
sexual violence than other places where men and women bothcongregate,
butthat is not muchsolace. Statistics on sexual assault are notoriously
hard to compile, but the best attempt from the Association of American
Universities found that 23% of female undergraduates reported some form
of sexual assault. An internal poll at Harvard suggested almost a third
had. Victims of sexual assault rarely speak up; even when they do,
sexual assault can bedevilishlyhard to prove. Yes to Sex, a phone
application that was introduced in April, aims to help partners clarify
and document sexual consent in under 30 seconds. But use of the service
hasnot taken off: ithas only a few,mediocrereviews on the iTunes store.
Without such pre-planning, proving consent was or wasn’t given after the
fact is often difficult.
Many sexual assaults happen during the “red zone”, the time between the
start of the school year and Thanksgiving, says Kathryn Nash, co-founder
of TrainED, a company that counselscolleges on legal compliance. “A
highpercentage” of these cases involve freshmen. Miss Nash attributes
this to freshmen being on their ownand having access to alcohol for the
first time. She says that in 75% of cases one or both parties have been
drinking. Various public-health studies link sexual assault
andbinge-drinking, though some students think this is blaming the
victim. Sheryl Morrison, whose daughter Victoria is a freshman at Saint
Thomas University in Saint Paul, blames “irresponsible drinking
behaviour” for the majority of incidents, adding that her daughter does
not drink. Tony Burton, a freshman at the University of Minnesota, says
that most of the tips in the training he went through were “common
sense.” This is not the case for everyone. “A lot of kids arrive at
college thinking ‘if someone doesn’t say ‘no’ I can keep going,’” Miss
Ann Olivarius, a lawyer for victims of sexual assault, believes the
problem has beenexacerbatedby the availability ofpornography. The
internet has made sexually explicit images and videos accessible to
anyone with a smartphone. This, she says, has engendered a sense of
sexualentitlementamong men. On the other hand, the web has focused
attention on the problem. News of sexual assault spreads much more
quickly and widely than it did before the era of digital media, which
may encourage more people to come forward.
Because rape violates criminal law, it must be proved beyond reasonable
doubt. To increase conviction rates, the White House is pressuring
universities—by naming them publicly, fining them or threatening to
withhold funds—to deal with more cases on campus, where rape has to be
proved just on the balance of probabilities. The sanctions a university
can administer are less severe than prison time, but on the extreme end
they can still amount to “career capital punishment” says one university
president, who is hiring former judges to staff his college’s tribunal.
Sep 24th 2016 | From the print edition:United
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What are US university ‘honour codes’?
By Jasmine Taylor-Coleman
BBC News, Washington DC
1 May 2016
When a young American woman told police shehad been raped, her
university started to investigate whether she had violated its”honour
code” before the attack took place. At some US colleges evenhaving a man
in your room or drinking alcohol is an offence. What is an”honour code”
and how is it supposed to work?
Madi Barney was so terrified she would bethrown out of Brigham Young
University (BYU) she waited four days to tellpolice in the city of
Provo, Utah, that she had been raped in her own flat.
“I just remember sobbing and tellingthe police officer I couldn’t go
forward because BYU was going to kick meout,” Barney, 20, told the New
Her fears were borne out when she wassummoned to the university weeks
later. She learned her police file had beenpassed to university
officials and they had launched an investigation into”honour code”
BYU is a Mormon college, and in order toenrol there Barney had signed up
to a strict code of conduct.
By committing to the honour code, studentspromise not to drink alcohol,
smoke cigarettes or take illegal drugs. They mustrefrain from drinking
tea or coffee or wearing skirts or shorts aboveknee-length. And
unmarried students must not have sex – even having a member ofthe
opposite sex in their room is a serious offence.
Barney says was told she could not registerfor any future classes at BYU
while its inquiry into her honour code violationswas pending. When she
complained publicly about her treatment, several otherfemale students
said they too had been subjected to investigations afterreporting sexual
This sparked protests at the BYU and aUS-wide debate about how victims
of rape or sexual assault are dealt with on religiouslyconservative
Teresa Fishman, head of the US-basedInternational Center for Academic
Integrity (ICAI), describes BYU’s honour codeas “an extreme case”, which
is “misaligned with mainstreamculture”. Most US universities have an
honour code to uphold ideals of honestyacademic fair-play, rather than a
dress code or sexual abstinence, she says.
The first honour code dates back to 1736,adopted by the College of
William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. During enrolmentweek,
entering students still gather in the university’s Great Hall and
pledgenot to lie, cheat or steal.
Brigham Young University Honor Code
“We believe in being honest, true,chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in
doing good to all men… If there isanything virtuous, lovely, or of
good report or praiseworthy, we seek afterthese things.”
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco,tea, coffee, and substance
Participate regularly in church services
Observe dress and grooming standards
Encourage others in their commitment tocomply with the Honor Code
As most of America’s earliest highereducation colleges were founded by
religious denominations, many codes have a “distinctlymoral” focus, says
Fishman. When they work, they can help students feel apart of their
university system and encourage a process of self-policing, sheadds.
Under Princeton’s honour system, in placesince 1893, professors leave
the room during exams – trusting students not to cheatand to report
anyone who does. This system of students turning in others is acore
principle of honour codes in most institutions. The accused will
normallygo before a panel of peers or faculty members, which then
decides on a verdictand a punishment ranging from community service to
suspension or completeexpulsion.
Despite a number of cheating scandals at USuniversities in recent years,
Lisa Trevino, a professor of organisational behaviourand ethics at the
Pennsylvania State University, says that over the past 20 years,honour
codes have had a positive effect. How well they work depends on
whetherthey become “integral to the culture”, she adds.
Some universities have adopted new honourcodes as they struggle with
preventing students from copying information fromthe internet. Harvard
University introduced a more formal code last year afterdozens of
students were suspended for cheating.Not all US universities have
anhonour code. And only a handful of privately run institutions, such as
BYU, usethe code to demand students live in accordance with religious
Liberty University, a Baptist university inVirginia, has a code of
conduct called The Liberty Way, which limits students’
hairstyles,clothes and any public displays of affection. Also against
the rules are sexualrelations “outside of a biblical ordained marriage
between a natural-bornman and a natural-born woman”.
Other universities, including the SouthernVirginia University and BYU,
espouse the teachings of the Mormon church, and thisis reflected in
their honour codes (which apply even to students who are notactive
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
BYU’s strict code has created headlines inthe past, with basketball star
Brandon Davies expelled in 2011 for having sex withhis girlfriend.
The latest news about the treatment ofsexual abuse victims has stirred
up an even greater controversy.
Most outsiders see disciplining a studentwho has already suffered sexual
assault as unnecessary punishment of thevictim, says Ryan Cragun, a
sociologist who specialises in Mormonism at theUniversity of Tampa.
However the university’s Mormonadministration separates the events – the
student is not considered at faultfor rape, but she is at fault for
being intimate with a man, he says.
It comes down to the universityinterpreting its code to the letter, he
says, rather than considering theoverall aim to help and protect
BYU President Kevin Worthen has admitted a”tension” created by the
honour code system and announced a review,following the protests at the
In a petition that has attracted more than111,000 signatures, Madi
Barney calls for immunity for students reporting attacks.
Her main objective is simply this: “Idon’t want anyone to have to go
through what I’m experiencing.”