Overview Of Increased Media Coverage Of Sexual Assault On College Campuses

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Students entering universities encounter many new obstacles during college years. Undergraduates struggle to balance academics, extracurriculars, and social life as they navigate their way through higher education. Party culture and societal values have made college campuses a place where binge drinking and drug use are not only common, but considered a norm, resulting in unsafe sexual situations for both men and women. Widespread sexual assault is not a new phenomenon on college campuses, where 1 in 5 women experience attempted or completed assault over the course of a college career (Sexual Violence, Facts at a Glance, 2012). However, commentary and reporting on the topic of rape and violence on college campuses have gained rapid momentum in recent months.
Sexual assault on college campuses has received increasing coverage in recent years due to social activism efforts and
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This act promises equality in athletics, employment, and education. Many schools under investigation are on the list because students filed complaints of Title IX violations: claiming that their universities did not provide a safe learning environment and alienated victims of sexual assault (typically women). With this law gaining attention from the government, media outlets began to scrutinize university policies and previous negligence of Title IX. Increased media attention and coverage of sexual assault on college campuses reveals patterns and themes, which this paper will examine. Journalists have covered Title IX investigations sensitively and accurately presented student’s concerns in regards to sexual assault policy and practices. However, mainstream coverage of university’s policies on sexual assault frame the problem as a zero-sum conflict and place blame at an institutional level, thus ignoring the greater, widespread societal issue of sexual
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