Only five incidents of rape were reported on the campus of Duke University in 2007. So, over the summer, officials at Duke decided to change the sexual misconduct policy to encourage more victims to come forward.
Under the old policy, officials were required to report instances of faculty on student rape or staff on student rape. Under the new policy, when officials learn of student on student rape they must report it. The policy also mandates that the Women’s Center be notified every time there is an allegation of student on student rape.
The new policy at Duke will allow the Women’s Center to offer medical and psychological services to the alleged victim. This will give them more to do and help them appear to be even busier at a time when rape seems to be declining at Duke.
The Duke Chronicle recently quoted Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek as saying the following: “I hope the way women and men see this is as a supportive process that seeks to find the truth.”
Dean Wasiolek’s remarks suggest that there is some newfound need to “find the truth” now that the statistics show rape is declining at Duke. But what she fails to realize – or, perhaps, pretends to fail to realize – is that the decline in rape accusations at Duke is the result of a “process that seeks to find the truth.” It’s called our First Amendment freedom of press.
In 2006, several members of the Duke Lacrosse team were accused falsely of committing a rape. After relentless scrutiny by the press the woman who leveled the false accusations was exposed and humiliated. And the university was sued after members of the faculty and administration gang raped several lacrosse players in the court of public opinion.