Today the White House has released a suite of materials related to sexual assault on college campuses. Among other things, it has launched a website and issued a report. This follows on the White House establishing a Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
It is too early to completely assess the merits of the White House actions, but Heritage will have analysis in the coming weeks. We have taken the lead in developing measured, fact-based policy proposals to address sexual assault in the military.
Sexual assault on college campus is an important issue that deserves similar, serious attention. On the one hand, the Administration should avoid empty actions —sexual assault on campus will not be adequately addressed simply by setting up task forces, issuing reports, “clarifying” the law, or holding press conferences with political groups. On the other hand, the Administration should take care not to unilaterally change the law in footnotes and Q&As on websites. Similar ill-considered actions by the Department of Education in recent years have had serious, deleterious effects on the rights of parents, teachers, and students.
It is our hope that White House proposals to address sexual assault on campus will be serious and constitutional, respecting the rights of all our nation’s young men and women.