POTUS, VP Won’t Visit College Campuses That Ineffectually Handle Sexual Assault Allegations
This extends to "top members of the administration — including the president, the vice president, their wives and members of the Cabinet", according to the White House.
As part of an ongoing campaign to address the widespread problem of sexual assaults on college campuses, the Obama administration is kicking the seriousness of their intention up a notch. In a recent statement from White House officials made to the Washington Post, certain “top members of the [Obama] administration–including the president, the vice president, their wives and members of the Cabinet”—will no longer visit college campuses that are found to be ineffectually handling sexual assault allegations.
According to the Post, currently “the Education Department has 253 ongoing investigations at 198 postsecondary institutions into the handling of sexual violence.”
Vice President Joe Biden has been particularly vocal about leading the charge against sexual assault on college campuses from within the current administration—in his speech for the United State of Women Summit last month, he said he initially approached Obama about his goal prior to Obama’s presidential win in 2008, requesting a staff that would address the issue from within the White House rather than as a separate entity apart from the office of the VP.
In 2014, the administration created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault as well as the It’s On Us initiative, which advocates for sexual assault awareness and prevention.
Recently, Biden introduced Lady Gaga’s powerful performance at the Academy Awards this year with a frank discussion about consent, and he wrote a letter to the Stanford assault survivor last month, expressing “furious anger” and disappointment in a culture on college campuses that he believes continues to fail those who have experienced assault and rape.
Criticism has been voiced about the White House’s involvement; one school official spoke on condition of anonymity, stating that since most of the situations happen “behind closed doors” many sexual assault allegations are “massively difficult to resolve” using the administration’s approach. But that doesn’t change the fact that reports of sexual assault on college campuses have actually increased. In a study of almost 1,300 schools, “reports of sexual-assault claims… doubled from 2011 to 2013”; raised awareness of this pervasive problem has been widely cited as a cause.
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