Taking action against collegiate sexual assault

Tulane University sends out sexual assault survey to perspective students

Tulane University sent out the results of their sexual assault survey to admitted students this winter.

Last year Tulane sent out a climate survey to students that assessed the issue of sexual assault on its campus. The survey, which had a 53 percent undergraduate response rate, revealed that 41% of undergraduate women had experienced sexual assault since enrolling at Tulane.

While it is becoming more common for colleges to partake in these surveys, few send the results to admitted students.

Senior Drew Gorski, who received the survey results from Tulane, said that none of the other schools he applied to had shared information on sexual assault.

Post High School Counselor Deb Donley believes many schools don’t send this information as they don’t know how it will be perceived.

“It is a great practice to make the information available, but it is not what families expect to receive from colleges. So it is alarming, especially if you are looking at sending your son or daughter o ,” said Donley.

Although it is rare for colleges to share this information, many appreciated Tulane’s transparency about the issue.

“When I got the survey, I felt like Tulane was one of very few schools that actually cares about sexual assault and was trying to do something about it,” said Gorski.

Junior Gillian Van Neck agreed that it takes a lot of courage for a school to send this information.

“I would de nitely appreciate the honesty from the school because I know it is a stigmatized topic,” said Van Neck.

These surveys strive to break that stigma and provide honest communication. Donley believes this is important in stopping sexual assault on college campuses.

“The first step to try to fix anything is to do a needs assessment to determine what the real situation is or how that situation is perceived by students,” said Donley.

Some feel in order to truly make an impact, society, not schools, needs to teach what consent is at a younger age.

“Girls are taught if a boy is mean to you or tugs your pigtails that means he likes you, when really, that’s just him being mean,” said Van Neck.

Although sexual assault is an major issue on college campuses, few students talk about safety at college with their Post High School Counselor.

“Typically if we hear it from someone at New Trier it would be a parent,” said Donley.

While many current students don’t ask about sexual assault on campus, it is more common for graduates to ask.

Although few students ask about safety at college, it is something many female students are constantly aware of. “It is always something, especially when you are a girl, that you have to keep in mind,” said Van

NeckS.ophomore Rachel Glucksman, agreed with Van Neck and said, “I worry about myself everywhere.”

For many male students, sexual assault on college campuses is not something they often consider, but having discussions about it has made them more aware of the issue.

“The fact that a potential school I could go to is sending out statistics like this makes it far more real,” said Gorski.

This year was the rst time the viewing was mandatory for all seniors to watch in advisory.

Along with viewing the lm Donley encouraged students to take the Yoga and Self Defense gym class.

“The yoga self-defense class is something we want to promote to our students because you never know and the self-defense aspect is really important,” said Donley.

In the email sent to students, Satyajit Dattagupta, the Dean of Undergraduate Admission at Tulane, said, “Tulane University has the opportunity—and the obligation— to make sure we are leading real change.”