'This Week': College Campuses on High Alert for Sexual Assault

TIME's Eliza Gray and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto talk about prevention programs.
6:46 | 05/18/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': College Campuses on High Alert for Sexual Assault
Our "Closer look," now at a crisis on campus. 60 universities have been put on notice by the department of education, for how they've handled sexual assaults. "Time" magazine reports this week that nearly one in five college women have been victims. And the author of that cover story is here, along with a university president taking action, after this from fusn's Alicia Menendez. Reporter: At Columbia university this week, an issue coming out of the shadows into the nationwide spotlight. I was raped by one of my close friends who is also a student at Columbia. Reporter: Emma Sul Coe wits is one of the students saying they have been a victim of sexual assault on campus. Filing the complaint that the university has not taken the issue seriously. I decided something needed to be done. So he would stop attacking women on campus. Reporter: What type of justice were you seeking from the administration? I just wanted him to get off campus. Reporter: Last week, someone, who knows who, put graffiti on bathroom walls across campus, accusing several students of rape. Columbia released a statement to ABC news, saying they're increasing measures to prevent sexual assault misconduct and support survivors. It comes amid a full-court press by the white house. Tony west is a web of the president's task force. I think that when college campuses engage the entire community, and send a very strong message that dealing with sexual assault is the collective responsibility of all of us. That's when they're most successful. Reporter: One of the biggest challenges for schools, how to define nonconsensual sex. Critics say that sometimes the definition the university use is too broad. It's a stat that's hardly changed in 20 years. Most colleges vastly underreport sexual assault. There have been sexual assault cases involving athletes at St. John's -- Rape on campus. When a friend or acquaintance turns out to be the rapest. Reporter: An article from 1990, where victims wrote the name of their attackers on bathroom walls. Cathy Harris was at brown university and would become an activist on sexual assault. Whenever there is national news about campus sexual assault, there becomes some awareness by the schools that they need to do something. As time passes, it's going to blow over. And things are going to go back to just how they were. I know this because we were talking about these things 25 years ago. Nothing has changed. Reporter: It's too late for Columbia survivor Emma sulkowicz. But she hopes it will be different for the next student. I think universities are in a position to really take a first step and make a change. Reporter: For "This week," I'm fusion's Alicia Menendez in New York. You wrote the story in "Time" magazine this week. You reach a startling confusion. You said for young women, America's campuses are dangerous places. Will this new push by the federal government make a huge difference? Well, George, I think we are at a historic moment for this issue because you have a perfect storm of grass roots, students on college campuses raising a stink about this. And the vice president who had the violence against women act. And the president who has daughters. I think you're going to see a spotlight on this issue that might put more pressure on colleges to make a change. President capilouto, the university of Kentucky has been on this for a long time. Cited as a model by the white house how you've taken on sexual harassment. What are the best practices that have worked for you? You have to recognize your problem. Ten years ago, we were the first to do a campus-wide climate survey. We understood some of the same horrific Numbers reported previously. We birthed in an entrepreneurial way, interventions that we thought would empower individuals and spread that responsibility collectively to the entire community. Our students, our faculty, our staff, our police force. Others that you have to partner with, in community, to make a difference. And then, you've got to stop and reassess, see how effective you are, repeat your surveys, refine, invest and move forward. Is there more the federal government should be doing right now? Well, I -- we had taken this responsibility on. It is a priority for us. One of the things we introduced, a green dot program. This is a way that I would say is equivalent to a designated driver in drinking situations. The green dot? The green dot program. That program trains college students. And we target peer leaders, those likely to influence many people on campus. We trained over 5,000. They know how to recognize a risky situation, intervene and do it in a creative way. If you see something, say something on campus. That makes a lot of sense. You pointed out in your piece that these assaults are carried out by a small group. You write that most guys are good guys. But the bad ones seem to be repeat offenders. How do you stigmatize without singling everybody out? That certainly does happen. But I do think that, you know, this study that I found showed 6% of males on the university of Massachusetts campus had committed rape. And 75% of them were repeat offenders, who had committed an average of six rapes each. And so, I think what we need to do is sort of speak to the people around them. So, when you go to a fraternity party, sort of the training we were just talking about here, when you go to a fraternity party and you see one of your brothers bringing a girl upstairs who looks too drunk. Be creative and spill a drink on him. Or say, hey, man, your car's getting towed. And sort of create a division to separate them and keep them safe. Coming up in just two minutes, bill Clinton versus

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