ON-Lion Letter

"In September 2015, Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust announced that Harvard students experience sexual assault with 'alarming frequency,’” begins an October cover article by Bradley Prize recipient Heather Mac Donald in The Weekly Standard's November 2 issue.  "Faust was responding to the results of a sexual assault survey conducted at Harvard and 26 other colleges earlier in the year.  According to the survey, spearheaded by the Association of American Universities (AAU), 16 percent of Harvard female seniors had experienced nonconsensual sexual penetration during their time at the college and nearly 40 percent had experienced nonconsensual sexual contact. The 'severity of the problem' required 'an even more intent focus on the problem of sexual assault,' Faust said.  Harvard professor and former provost Steve Hyman decried the 'terribly damaging' problem that 'profoundly violates the values and undermines the educational goals of this University.'

"And yet, apart from Drew Gilpin Faust’s recital of Harvard’s burgeoning rape bureaucracy -- 50 Title IX coordinators, a new Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution filled to the brim with 'trained investigators,' a doubling of staff at the Office for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response -- nothing else happened,” Mac Donald continues in "An Assault on Common Sense."  "No beefed up escort services, no added police presence.  Life went on as usual, including the usual drunken parties and hook-ups.

"The rhetoric from the other participating schools was similarly alarmist,” she writes.

Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and a contributing editor of its City JournalThe Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Manhattan Institute.

"If campuses were the 'hunting grounds' for rapists that the advocates claim, a movement creating single-sex schools would have sprung up years ago,” according to Mac Donald.  "Instead, the stampede of high school girls trying to get into selective co-ed colleges grows more frenzied by the year.  Nevertheless, colleges could end what they insist on calling campus rape overnight if they persuaded girls to exercise modesty and prudence, and if they sent the simple message:  Don’t get drunk, take off your clothes, and get into bed with a guy whom you barely know.

"Were parents to start believing the claim that colleges are 'unsafe spaces' for girls, you would see college presidents turn on a dime and point out the obvious:  There are few places more congenial, safe, and welcoming to females than the present-day American campus,” she concludes.  "For now, however, college leaders can self-righteously placate the rape culture industry with more and more 'sexual assault' sinecures, while watching the applications for admission roll in unimpeded."

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