Obama and Biden Will Not Visit Colleges That Fail to Properly Address Sexual Assault
Politics| | By Madeleine Richards
It’s no secret that sexual assault is rampant on college campuses. With more and more instances of rape and harassment at colleges, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have decided to take a stand.
The president and VP, as well as their wives and other top Cabinet members have boycotted institutions that do not investigate incidents or punish perpetrators appropriately. This means they will not be visiting these college campuses at all. The Department of Education is currently conducting 253 investigations at 198 universities about the way they have addressed sexual assault.
This crackdown follows on the heels of their “It’s On Us” initiative, launched in 2014, that asked everyone to make a personal commitment to be part of the solution to campus sexual assault. The president announced at the time that while “one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years,” that only “12 percent are reported” and “of those reported assaults, only a fraction of offenders are punished.”
In an interview Biden gave to the Washington Post, published Sunday, he stated that he would like the government to “take away their money,” in reference to colleges that do not take sexual assault seriously. “Now’s the time to put the pedal to the metal.”
Last month, Biden addressed the brave woman who spoke out against her rapist, ex Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner. In his letter he wrote, “I am filled with furious anger, both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken.”
Sexual assault on campuses and general violence against women has been at the forefront of Biden’s agenda since before Obama’s election in 2008. Biden even had the staff for these issues placed in his office instead of the Department of Justice. Biden said in his interview to the Post that Obama always knew how strongly he felt about these issues, and that “He always thought it was an awful abuse of power. But as his daughters grew, he became more explicitly focused on it.”
Biden even spoke about ending sexual assault on campuses at the Academy Awards.
Here’s to hoping their crackdown on these institutions helps end this horribly common human rights issue.