AFT On Campus

Spring 2015

Feature Story
Out of the Shadows
Understanding sexual assault on campus

You would think that the horror story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia would change everything. Except then it got complicated. Did it really happen? Why were there conflicting accounts? And what’s with the two-year wait before reporting?
The case may have been disappointing to those who wanted swift and simple justice, but it did help shine a light on a problem that lurks in the shadows of every campus across the United States: sexual assault. Finally, we are seeing the hard facts about sexual assault and the web of campus culture that allows it to happen: Victim blaming. Fear of retaliation. Conflicting accounts. Partying, fraternities, bad boys versus predators. Campus adjudication—or lack thereof.

It’s complicated. It’s hidden. And it’s time we brought it out of the shadows so we can better understand, and better address, this hidden plague on our college campuses.

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Also in this issue:

  • Obama proposes free community college tuition

    Program could expand the ladder of opportunity for low-income students

    Think college tuition is too high? How about offering the first two years for free?

    ...

  • Where We Stand

    Ending sexual assault on campus Randi Weingarten, AFT President

    Sexual assault is part of my truth. As I shared in a recent column for Jezebel, I was sexually assaulted just after my junior year in college. In the ensuing decades—from college to law school, through my career as a lawyer, teacher and union leader—that one night has never left me.

    I...

  • Out of the shadows

    Understanding sexual assault on campus Virginia Myers

    You would think that the horror story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia would change everything. Except then it got complicated. Did it really happen? Why were there conflicting accounts? And what’s with the two-year wait before reporting?

    The case may have been disappointing to...

  • On the Hill

    Legislating cultural change

    Federal and state laws that help move the needle against sexual assault.

    Title IX

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal civil rights law, was first connected to sexual harassment in 1977; a group of Yale students argued that sexual harassment and violence...

  • After the assault

    How faculty and staff can help traumatized students. Tricia B. Bent-Goodley

    One in five college women experience sexual assault prior to their graduation from college. As if that’s not enough, many deal with domestic violence and stalking as well. Interpersonal violence significantly affects the learning experience of students we see every day, but until recently, the...

  • What's alcohol got to do with it?

    Researching the role of drinking in sexual assault on campus. Antonia Abbey

    We’ve all read the headlines: Sexual assault is disturbingly commonplace across the United States, with college campuses currently receiving intense scrutiny for Title IX violations, their policies regarding sexual assault allegations, and their treatment of victims. Many of the stories we hear...

  • Speak Out

    Given their role in the conversation about sexual assault, should all-male fraternities be banned?

    YES
    "Guyland" can perpetuate view of women as sex objects
    By Peggy Reeves Sanday

    During the last four decades of writing about acquaintance rape, I have not suggested that all-male fraternities be banned, believing that some (by no means all) young men need a same-sex...

  • For more information and guidance

    Resources working to address sexual assault on campus.

    End Rape on Campus
    endrapeoncampus.org
    Guidance on using Title IX to file a complaint, access to support groups, FAQs and activism

    Know Your IX
    ...

  • Eight-day strike ends for Oregon graduate employees.

    Paid medical leave was central issue in new contract.

    After more than a year of negotiations, countless rallies and finally an eight-day strike, members of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation at the University of Oregon reached a contract agreement Dec. 10.  

    “The decision to strike was a serious undertaking, but it was necessary to put...

  • In the News

    STANDING UP FOR CIVIL RIGHTS In the wake of the devastating deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement officials late last year, AFT President Randi Weingarten has continued to demonstrate the AFT’s longtime commitment to civil rights. In recent months, she...

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On Campus Spring 2015 cover page

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