A survey by Harvard’s newspaper
found that 12% of the women and 2% of males graduating from Harvard said they were sexually assaulted at the school. This follows a pattern of colleges nationwide highlighted by a report from a White House task force. The trend is leading former student to take a stand. Many alumni are withholding donations until changes are made.
Lisa Paige, President of the Alumni Network for Harvard Women, said that only 16% of students who were sexually assaulted even reported the assault. “When a woman finds herself in that sort of a position, she/he often feels somewhat responsible for having put him/herself in that position; and then, it is difficult to acknowledge what has happened to you.” This has been a problem
that has been going on for decades; but now, women are doing something about it. “We are urging alumni not to donate to the capital campaign until we see some serious, significant change. Alumni should be at the table where the college and university decision-makers are concerning this issue.” U.S. colleges and universities raised $33.8 billion in 2013; and $9 billion came from alumni donations. (Source: The council for Aid to Education)“This has been going on since
Title IX put women and men in the same housing. We are encouraging a dialogue between alumni and college officials, and then we believe solutions will emerge.” (“Alumni Outrage - Refusing to donate until schools address assaults,” CBS This Morning, May 29, 2014; The Harvard Crimson Survey, May 13-20, 2014)
- The White House task force has announced a plan urging colleges and universities to combat sexual assault on campuses. 1 in 5 female students are victims. The task force calls for: Better training for victims’ advocates; Making reports more confidential; and Conducting better investigations. The task force has launched http://www.NotAlone.gov which allows victims to file a federal complaint. (The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, April 2014)