2.14.16 | Riyah Basha
There’s nothing quite like a fall Saturday in Ann Arbor. From the stream of maize and blue rolling down State Street onto Stadium, to the tailgates, to the team, the team, the team, football game days are largely seen as part of the quintessential Michigan experience.
But other game day traditions are familiar to many students as well: traveling to the game in packs, keeping an eye out for friends at tailgates, getting sick from drinking too much and even hospital visits.
According to a working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in December, another trend might also now be a part of the latter list: it shows research that links higher reports of rape on university campuses to Division I football game days across the country. Game days and tailgates, the report suggests, are an opportunity for increased partying and alcohol consumption, and that opportunity can be correlated to a rise in “daily reports of rape (to law enforcement) with 17-24 year old victims by 28 percent.”
Study co-author Isaac Swensen, a professor at Montana State University, said in an interview that the results corresponded with data he and other co-authors previously collected.
“We’re certainly aware of all the evidence characterizing the partying on college campuses,” he said. “(Division I football games) provide an interesting opportunity to learn about the underlying causal effects of such activities.”