UI report recommends efforts to address sexual misconduct

August 12, 2018 GMT

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report is recommending new efforts to support students in the first weeks of school when sexual assaults are most common, especially among freshman.

The university’s second systematic survey of sexual misconduct on campus recommends targeting resources at specific groups who have a higher risk of sexual assault, including the Greek system, LGBTQ community and those with disabilities, The News-Gazette reported.

The survey is also recommending doubling down on efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.


The report is based on a March 2017 survey offered to 12,500 of the university’s students. It shows that while a majority of students felt the university takes sexual misconduct seriously, a third didn’t know how to make a report of sexual misconduct and one in five didn’t know where to get help.

Of those who reported any kind of sexual assault in the study, more than 40 percent said it had occurred within the past 12 months. The numbers of reports spiked during September and October to 42 and 54, compared to 30 or below in other months. Nearly 80 percent reported using alcohol or drugs before an assault occurred.

Those who worked with first-year students, including RAs in residence halls, should be trained how to encourage safe drinking, accountability among peers and the importance of consent, rather than waiting for students to go through sexual-assault prevention programs, according to the report.

Danita Brown Young, vice chancellor for student affairs, said she was pleased that the report found “more students are starting to talk about sexual misconduct and actually try to hold their peers accountable,” that victims are comfortable reporting it, and that they trust university officials will handle reports fairly and maintain a survivor’s privacy.

However, she said the university needs to do more to teach students how to find help on campus.