About one-out-of-four women on college campuses report being sexually assaulted. That shocking rate of violence against women has persisted for years. What is the root cause of violent crime and the continued high rates of sexual assault that occur on college campuses? The problem is poor management. These school administrators are out of their depth and need our help. Here are some of the problems they face.
• Over Abstraction- Academics are model builders. They confuse reality with their model, and this confusion happens time after time. Sexual assault isn’t part of their world model, so the problem doesn’t exist.
• Moralization- The problem of assault and robbery shouldn’t exist on campus. Therefore, it is someone else’s problem to deal with.
• The perfectibility of man- Academics think they can change human nature so the problem of assault goes away. For example, institute a mandatory one-hour course for incoming freshmen to train them not to commit rape and robbery.
• Sample bias- Most students are not assaulted on campus. Meanwhile, 23 percent of female students report sexual assaults. The many injured students who leave school are not included in the satisfaction survey of graduating seniors.
• Doing what you’re told- Politicians may determine the budgets and programs at some state schools. Some administrators do as they are told and adopt the security policies that please influential legislators.
• Personal political interests- School administrators often have their own political aspirations. They will adopt the campus policies that please their political patrons and donors.
• Ignoring success- It is more rewarding to publish another academic paper than to make your students safer.
• Fantasy ideology- Some academics recognize the problem of violence but think that self-defense isn’t the answer. The fact that responsible people protect themselves with pepper spray, stun guns and firearms off campus evidently has no bearing on expected human behavior while on campus. Security is outside the academic model and administrators are not programed to respond in that area.
There are alternatives. Look how we manage the problem of personal safety off campus.
• We put physical security in place. We lock our doors and install security cameras. We build walls and make secure entrances to keep uninvited visitors off campus. Your local Democrat politician probably has a wall around his house. So should the school campus.
• Armed adults provide for their own defense and the defense of others off campus. Stop disarming licensed concealed carry holders when they come on campus.
• Campus officials, including teaching assistants and dorm monitors, should be mandatory reporters. They will report assault to the police… every time. Failure to do so is grounds for termination and/or expulsion.
• It is the job of the local police to collect evidence and submit a case to local prosecutors. Beyond that, the university is not involved. It is the local prosecutor who will determine if they have sufficient evidence to bring a case to trial. The judge and jury will determine guilt or innocence…even if a star athlete is involved.
• Student health workers are mandatory reporters for assault, statutory rape, and sexual assault.
• The university should help fund rape-kit-testing to ensure prompt evidence collection and prosecution. The school will also volunteer to fund tests for those who think they might have been drugged the night before on a date.
• Set clear standards for everyone on campus. Students, staff, faculty, vendors and administrators will be separated from the university if they are found guilty of assault or other violent crimes. Similarly, the school will not work with people who are convicted of repeated non-violent crimes like harassment or intimidation.
This isn’t a panacea. I don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Each campus will have to tailor the manner and degree of their security measures.
Why don’t we see these sorts of measures adopted on campus today? I do not have proof, but I do have personal observations. I think the reason we don’t see these policies in place is that tenured professors don’t want to censure their colleagues. Based on my own experience, the faculty hid past violations like intimidation and illicit affairs with young students.
What do you think?
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