Dartmouth Sex Assault Policy Needs To Be Reformed, 50,000 People Demand, And We Hope The University Listens

Last month, an anonymous Internet message board at Dartmouth, called Bored@Baker, published a "rape guide." As if that wasn't awful enough, the post named a young student; her hall of residence; and a step-by-step guide about how to force her to perform oral sex. Weeks later, the student reported that she'd been sexually assaulted at a party. Now, 50,000 ppeople have signed a petition demanding the Ivy League university reform its sexual-assault policies and "curb the sexual assault crisis," ThinkProgress reports.

It's no secret that Dartmouth's policies regarding sexual assault haven't been good enough. Dartmouth is already under federal investigation for an alleged failure to comply with Title XI, which mandates that all students have a safe learning environment. In the meantime, many students have signed the petition, which was posted by UltraViolet, a women's advocacy group.

An excerpt from the petition:

Student groups have asked the school to list expulsion as the punishment for rape in the student handbook and to block campus internet access to the website where the 'rape guide' was posted. But school authorities haven't taken any of these recommendations seriously.

Usually, stories like this get little attention from the news media. But if all of us speak up, Dartmouth won't be able to hide. From Steubenville, Ohio, to Billings, Montana, UltraViolet members have stood up for sexual assault survivors and won justice. Now it's time to stand up for Dartmouth students.

In response to the petition, Dartmouth released a statement.

At Dartmouth, we believe that one sexual assault is one too many. Over the last three years we have more than doubled support and prevention resources addressing sexual assault and are deeply committed to ridding our campus of this scourge. It is important to note the anonymous author of the post on a privately hosted website referred to in the petition was identified and faces Dartmouth's disciplinary process. Further, we investigate every instance of sexual assault that is brought to our attention and offer multiple levels of support and resources to every survivor. Every day we work to make our community better and safer.

You can sign the petition here.