Never before in America, perhaps, has the issue of campus rape been so widely and deeply discussed. A series of high profile cases, and revelations of widespread institutional failures to deal effectively with reported incidents and sex crime prevention, have driven campus rape into the public spotlight.
From 2011 to 2013, reported sex crimes rose, often dramatically, on the campuses where America’s eight highest-ranked business schools are located, Poets&Quants‘ analysis of crime statistics reveals. Reports of sexual offenses jumped seven-fold at Columbia University, more than doubled at Stanford, MIT, Dartmouth, and Northwestern, doubled at the University of Chicago, and increased 66% at Harvard, U.S. Department of Education data show. At UCLA, the number of reported sex attacks quadrupled.
Eighteen of the top 50 business schools operate on campuses where the administration is under federal investigation over handling of reported sexual violence cases.
Poets&Quants analyzed education department data and individual school reports from the 51 campuses containing the Poets&Quants Top 50 business schools.
SEX CRIMES UP AT 35 CAMPUSES CONTAINING TOP 50 B-SCHOOLS
Thirty-five campuses saw rising numbers of reported forcible sex crimes, while 15 saw a drop in numbers, and one remained flat.
The increase in reported sex attacks came as reported offenses in nearly all other categories dropped at most of the institutions where business schools are located. However, certain campuses, including U.C. Berkeley and Penn State, saw striking increases in reported aggravated assault, while reports of burglary jumped significantly at Yale University and Michigan State University. Motor vehicle theft rose on a slim majority of campuses.
Although much sex crime on campus is associated with undergraduate lifestyles – heavy drinking and on-campus residency in particular – crime affects business students as well, says Columbia Business School spokesperson Christopher Cashman.
“Columbia Business School students are active, engaged, and contributing members of the broader Columbia community, and so these issues affect MBA students in the same manner that they have affected all members of our community,” Cashman says.
DATE RAPE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HAVE BROAD EFFECTS
After Poets&Quants‘ request to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business was passed along to the university’s communications department, Stanford spokesperson Lisa Lapin noted that “while partying and alcohol is one issue — and not exclusive to undergraduates or dorms — there are other issues, including date rape and domestic violence, which also impact everyone at all ages.”
As defined by the Department of Education, forcible sexual offenses range from fondling to rape, and schools, under the federal Clery Act, were required to publicly report statistics covering that category of crime. In response to changes in the FBI’s definition of rape, and new federal legislation, the department will next year start collecting school data that breaks down the umbrella category of forced sex crimes into specific offenses such as rape and fondling, according to a department spokesperson.
However, some schools have already been reporting on specific crimes, separating rape from fondling. Twenty-one schools broke down the forcible sexual offenses category to provide numbers on rape for one or more of the three years. Of these schools, five, including the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, started breaking out that number during the three-year period.
Penn for 2013 began separating out a “rape” category for reports of 2013 reports of crime. So while the school shows up in the U.S. Department of Education database with 12 reported forcible sex offenses each in 2011 and 2012, the 17 shown in the education department’s database for 2013 are broken down in the school’s own reporting, revealing eight reported rapes and nine reported incidents of forcible fondling. Columbia University, too, for 2013 began breaking out rape from general sexual offenses, reporting 13 reported rapes that year and eight reported fondling incidents.
MIT BACKTRACKS ON RAPE REPORTING
One school, MIT, did not report rape-specific numbers in 2013, after citing six reported rapes in 2011 and seven in 2012. The school did not respond to a request from Poets&Quants for information about its crime reporting.
Twenty-nine schools, including Yale University, Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, New York University, the University of North Carolina, and Indiana University, did not disclose the number of rape reports during the three-year period, reporting only on forcible sexual offenses, with no breakdown.