The Crime in Handling Incidents of Sexual Misconduct
It is disappointing to know that there are students out there who attend school everyday in fear of being bullied, teased, taunted, or sexually harassed. Children are required to go school, and it is a shame that we have yet to make sure every student feels safe and capable of performing their best. We must take responsibility and end this now.
Just 15 months ago, The Office of Civil Rights began an investigation of Yale University’s handling of incidents of sexual misconduct after students and alumni filed a complaint. The investigation discovered that Yale kept some reports of sexual misconduct covered up and failed to effectively inform students of resources to turn to for help in cases of sexual harassment or assault.
After reading about this in the article Department of Education ends Title IX investigation, I felt like Yale’s handling of sexual misconduct was unethical. It may be superstitious thinking on my part, but it sounds like Yale may have responded the way that it did in order to maintain a positive school image and reputation. A university’s image is vital to its enrollment rates. No one wants to attend a college with a reputation for being unsafe, so silencing incidents of sexual misconduct would have been to Yale’s advantage. If Yale was responding in this way, I fear that that other universities may be doing the same.
I think that it is a crime to silence incidents of sexual misconduct and silence organizations working to combat sexual harassment and assault. Rather than radiating a poor image, I think speaking openly about these issues and actively working to prevent them is a demonstration of responsibility. If anything, I think a school possessing abundant resources and groups fighting this problem are a reflection of the caring and compassion the university has for its students—that is certainly the type of college I would want to attend!