Madison Summers, President of the Susquehanna University Student Government Association, asked a question on Change Politics, an election platform designed by Change.org. The website allows users to interact with presidential candidates and other voters by asking questions and making endorsements.
Summers’ question was one of six that were answered by the Democratic Candidates out of the over 1,000 submissions.
“The ACLU reports that nearly 95% of all campus rapes go unreported. The problem with under-reporting reflects an extreme need to increase campus protection and support systems. As president, what would you do to be proactive in resolving this issue?”
Hillary Clinton responded:
“One in five women report being sexually assaulted during college—a time when they should be learning all they can and pursuing their dreams. For too long, this epidemic has been ignored.
It is not enough to condemn sexual assault. We need to end it, and I’ve released a three-part plan to get us there. Every campus should offer survivors the support and services they need, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or race. And we have to ensure a fair process in both campus disciplinary proceedings and complaints filed in the criminal justice system.
But it’s not enough to address sexual assault when it occurs. We have to stop it from happening at all. That means educating our young people and setting norms on issues like consent and bystander prevention.”
Bernie Sanders responded:
“We need to provide the survivors of campus sexual assault with the support they need. That means including additional federal resources to ensure that our college campuses are safe for all students. Colleges must provide a supportive environment. They must treat sexual violence as the serious crime and violation of civil rights that it is by ensuring university staff are properly trained to handle cases, working with the local police department to facilitate criminal charges if the survivor wants, creating a transparent process to report cases and address the problem, and providing services victims need to stay in school.
We must take a proactive approach to ending campus sexual assault. As President, I will:
o Work to change the culture around sexual violence, through comprehensive, age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive sex education, including affirmative consent and safe and healthy relationship behaviors.
o End the rape kit backlog.
o Eliminate roadblocks to birth control and emergency contraception.
While law enforcement is best positioned to respond to rape as a crime, schools are uniquely positioned to address the significant educational impacts, which often lead to diminished grades, withdrawal from courses or other school activities, and sometimes dropping out of school altogether.”