Colleges, universities get mixed grades on preventing sex assault

The state’s colleges and universities are aces when it comes to drafting policies on sexual assault, but often struggle for passing grades on educating and training their communities on sexual violence.
That’s according to the 2012 Campus Report Card released today by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services.

The report gives grades to the state’s 21 four-year institutions based on how they, as a group, fare in a variety of sexual assault prevention measures. Grades are based on the percentage of institutions that have the measures in place. For instance, an “A” means that 90 to 100 percent of colleges and universities in the state have implemented a practice; a grade of “F” means only 59 to 50 percent of institutions have enacted a measure.

Connecticut’s report card is mostly A’s and B’s, with most schools in the state providing mandatory sexual assault education for residential life staff, including key information in their sexual assault policies and providing support to all parties during sexual assault hearings. But the card reveals many areas that need improvement — specifically those involving training and education.

For instance, the state’s schools got an “F” in providing mandatory sexual assault education for student members of fraternities and sororities. Indeed, many schools in our region, including Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University and Quinnipiac University, don’t require such training. The University of Bridgeport does mandate sexual assault training for all Greek life members, but even that school doesn’t mandate training for the Greek life judicial board.

That was the only “F” on the card, but the state’s schools also received one D, with only 60 to 69 percent of them providing mandatory sexual assault training for sexual assault response team members. There were a number of C’s as well, most of them related to training and response.

This is third such report card CONNSACS has done. Previous ones were issued in 1999 and 2007.

Amanda Cuda