Obama and Biden are boycotting colleges soft on rape
They want schools to take more responsibility
According to The Washington Post, sources inside the White House say that President Obama and Vice President Biden “will not visit institutions whose leaders they consider insufficiently serious about pursuing sexual-assault allegations and punishing perpetrators.”
This decision comes after a period of heightened awareness for sexual assault on college campuses after a letter from a Stanford rape survivor went viral, and was even addressed by Biden, himself, who wrote an open letter to the survivor, praising her bravery.
Other cases of college sexual assault have been widely publicized lately, as well, from Vanderbilt to Indiana University, where a former student charged with raping two women was given a plea deal and exited court with a misdemeanor battery charge and one year’s probation. These stories came in addition to an investigation by The Washington Post which outlined 2014 rapes on college campuses and suggested that reports of assault are rising, possibly due to heightened awareness of the issue.
According to the Post, Biden spoke to Obama about the issue even before 2008, asking for a team to work on violence against women “within the office of the vice president,” rather than at the Justice Department.
“He said, ‘Okay.’ He knew how strongly I felt about it,” Biden said, adding that over time Obama became more engaged with the issue. “He always thought it was an awful abuse of power. But as his daughters grew, he became more explicitly focused on it.”
The Obama administration has also launched a series of initiatives aiming at combatting college sexual assault, with 253 ongoing investigations into 198 postsecondary institutions into the handling of sexual violence, according to the Post. It has also created the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign, which raises awareness for sexual assault and encourages bystander intervention.
In the last few months, Obama and Biden have visited several colleges across the country. In May, the president spoke at Rutgers University in New Jersey after a successful student led petition.