As more students report sexual violence, those who seek justice through internal channels find that even when allegations are upheld, school officials are often reluctant to impose their harshest punishment on the attackers: expulsion, reports the Washington Post. Federal data on college discipline suggest that students found responsible for sexual assault are as likely to be ordered to have counseling or given a reprimand as they are to be kicked out. They are likely to be suspended and then allowed to finish their studies.
The University of Virginia has expelled no students for sexual misconduct in the past decade, a record that has intensified scrutiny of the public flagship university at the center of debate on campus sexual assault. Why has U-Va. dismissed dozens of students for academic cheating in recent years but none for sexual assault? “I am concerned about the way we approach this and whether we are approaching it correctly,” said U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan. She acknowledged that the school is reviewing “the way in which we adjudicate these issues.” National debate about campus sexual assault has opened a window onto the largely hidden world of student discipline.