Letter to the Editor 154.12.2

To the Bucknell Community,

We’re a group of eight students from HIST 214: Radicals and Reformers. As a class, we were challenged to make a positive impact on Bucknell’s campus by any way that we saw fit. As a group, we discovered a collective interest in raising awareness for the national college campus problem of sexual assault and misconduct. We began by gathering as much information on the school’s policies as available to us, including meeting with the Title IX Coordinator to discuss the written policies that our school just recently restructured. With our investigation came the realization that Bucknell’s reported sexual assault statistics under the Clery Act only include on-campus instances. As a college with a strong off-campus social scene, we believe that students might be misinformed about the true frequency of sexual assault and misconduct at Bucknell.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act was originally written in 1990 but has since been continuously amended. The Act requires universities to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. Bucknell’s reports under the Clery Act only consider crimes that occur on campus. Any crimes, such as sexual assault or misconduct, that occur in downtown student houses are not published in these annual reports, named the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Associate Professor of Psychology Bill Flack conducts annual studies of sexual assault and misconduct within the Bucknell community. His research includes data from reported and unreported instances that occurred both on and off campus. Flack’s research used to be utilized by the University, specifically in The Campus Climate for Bucknell University Students: A Multifaceted Analysis by the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate, published in September 2011. The statistic that one in three women on campus are sexually assaulted used to be widespread knowledge. Unfortunately, these statistics are no longer used.

We believe that the general student population should be aware that there is a discrepancy between the number of sexual assault and misconduct instances that Bucknell officially reports under the Clery Act and the number that encompasses the Bucknell community beyond the official boundaries of campus. We write this letter as students to students as a call to action to become fully aware of the issue of sexual assault and misconduct present in our community, as well as the resources and policies that are intended to protect and support students.

 

Sincerely,

Jill Crooks ’17, Madeline Diamond ’17, Seamus Dowdall ’17, Gillian Feehan ’15, Max Ferrer ’17, Maddie Harrison ’16, Jade Klein ’17, Caroline Muse ’17

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