Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reducing sexual assault at Illinois colleges & universities

I would like Illinois to lead on reducing sexual assaults of Illinois college & university students.

I see some parallels to the issue of reducing fraudulent enlistments in military recruiting. These are difficult things to measure. But measurement is essential to determining if policies--like education--are effective at reducing the crimes.

I request an Illinois legislator sponsor a bill directing the Illinois Attorney General to design a system for measuring sexual assault of students at Illinois colleges & universities above a minimum size. It may be appropriate to have one minimum size for schools without dorms & campus housing and another for residential campuses.

I expect that anonymous surveys should be part of the system for measuring the number of sexual assaults.

The system of measurement should be consistent across similar institutions. Having colleges & universities self-report can be one aspect of measuring the number of sexual assaults. But there should also be a system where the students themselves report to either State of Illinois or a professional services company hired to do the job.

The colleges & universities will probably object initially. But after the program is implemented, Illinois colleges and universities should be able to document that the number of sexual assaults is lower than national averages and declining.

This should be a factor that makes Illinois colleges & universities more desirable and more competitive with comparable schools in other states.

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