Sending Office: Maloney B., Carolyn B.
The disturbing prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses is a serious concern for students and families as they begin the college search. Ensuring they have easy access to resources that would allow them to make informed decisions about safety on
campus is vitally important. To that end, I ask you to join me in requesting that US News & World Report make simple changes to its annual college reports to help prospective students obtain more detailed campus safety information.
US News & World Report is a leading resource for information about institutions for higher education. The website already includes links to Clery reports on colleges’ informational pages. However, Clery data are not exhaustive indicators of how effectively
a college responds to reports of sexual assault.
That is why I am sending the letter below urging US News & World Report to also include, for each school, the number of reports of sexual assaults received by a school in a given year and the number of disciplinary actions the school took during the same
time period. Furthermore, the letter recommends that this information be prominently placed on each school’s informational page. This data is public and reported on individual schools’ websites, but can be difficult to find. Having it centrally located would
be far more convenient for students and parents trying to compare schools on this and other important metrics. I hope you will join me in encouraging US News & World Report to make these small, but meaningful changes to improve transparency about campus sexual
assault for students across the country.
If you are interested in signing this letter or have any questions, please have your staff contact Anna Le at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Max Whitcomb at
email@example.com or x5-7944.
The deadline to add your signature to this letter is Friday, May 18th, 5pm.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress
May XX, 2018
Mr. William Holiber
President & CEO
U.S. News & World Report
4 New York Plaza
New York, NY 10004
Dear Mr. Holiber,
Sexual assault on college campuses continues to be a major problem plaguing our students. Estimates suggest that nearly 20 percent of young women and 6 percent of young men are victims of attempted or actual sexual assault during their time in college.
Because of the #MeToo movement, public awareness of this issue is higher than ever. Parents and students are paying particular attention to how colleges and universities address sexual assault. Unfortunately, campus policies and practices are often hard
to find or to understand. We believe that U.S. News & World Report can and should be part of the solution to this problem by disseminating information about school sexual assault response levels as part of your college and university informational pages.
U.S. News took an important step when it began providing links to schools’ Clery reports through its website. As you know, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires colleges and universities to track
and share information about reports of certain crimes on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety. While useful, Clery reports alone are not exhaustive in providing students and families with the information necessary to determine whether institutions
are providing safe environments. For instance, Clery reports do not include incidents on off-campus properties, including ones that are leased or owned by many fraternities and sororities. They also do not include data on the number of sexual assault incidents
that were reported to the school but not to the police. A more accurate number to highlight is the number of reports that a school receives during a given time period. In order to show whether a school is adequately responding to those reports, another necessary
number to offer students is the number of disciplinary actions that the school took during that same time period.
We therefore urge you to make the following changes to the data presented on schools’ pages:
- include how many reports of sexual assaults were received by the school in a given year;
- include how many disciplinary actions the school took in that same year; and
- more prominently situate a link titled “sexual assault” on each school’s page, instead of posting information on sexual violence under the “more” and “safety” tabs.
While schools already provide this information through their Title IX offices, it can be difficult for prospective students and their parents to know where to look to obtain it. Providing these two publicly available numbers on your website would offer
prospective students the information they need to determine if a school adequately addresses sexual assault on and off campus.
With this additional information, students and families will be able to make even greater use of your website as a resource, and your publication will become a valuable ally in national efforts to combat campus sexual assault.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0