8.3.16 | Tyler Kingkade
For too long, colleges haven’t tracked whether their policies and programs are effective.
For the first time, researchers in two states will systematically study college sexual assault policies with a view to overhauling them. Researchers in Kansas and Georgia are beginning an intensive three-year project this fall looking at sexual assault policies at a sample of colleges and universities in each state.
Many colleges nationwide have reworked their sexual misconduct policies in recent years, either because of changes in federal or state law or after outcry from activists and survivors who accused the schools of mishandling sexual assaults. Yet in the rush to either come into compliance with the law or quell unrest on campus, colleges haven’t always devoted time or resources to systematically study what is working and what needs to change. That’s where the projects in Kansas and Georgia come into play.
In the Heartland Sexual Assault Policies & Prevention on Campuses Project, University of Kansas researchers with backgrounds in political science, social welfare and family medicine will take stock of sexual misconduct policies at several colleges in the Midwest and study what can be improved. They plan to examine a cross-section of postsecondary institutions, including public schools University of Nebraska-Kearney and Kansas State University, historically black schools Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis and Lincoln University in Missouri and a community college, Crowder College.