- The University of Pennsylvania has launched a task force to examine strategies to stem concern over campus rape culture and its ties to substance abuse and online harassment, the Daily Pennsylvanian reports.
- With a goal of identifying and levying punishment for individuals and groups which promote an unsafe campus, members of the Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community pledge “holding students in unaffiliated and unsupervised groups accountable for violations of University policy to the maximum degree permitted.”
- The task force begins its work months after a sexually-explicit email was sent from an anonymous group to first-year female students.
There is no method or system which can eliminate sexual assault on or off-campus, particularly one which can supersede incidents involving drugs or alcohol. But campus leaders can consistently and comprehensively reinforce a zero tolerance policy and stay abreast of campus climate on the issue.
This work is likely to change dramatically if campus Title IX and sexual assault reporting is modified by the U.S. Department of Education, but if it is changed, universities still must report accurately and transparently to students about these crimes and monitor best practices in investigating charges which protect both the accuser and the accused.