Sexual Assault on College Campuses: A Policy Analysis at Valparaiso University

Faculty Sponsor

Andrew Raridon


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


There are two parts to my current research. The first is a content analysis of Valparaiso University’s sexual assault policies and the policies of the fourteen other universities that Valparaiso considers to be its peer institutions. In this part of the study, I look for both gendered language and victim-centered language that could indicate potential bias in the policies. I also looked to see if there were any systematic differences between Valparaiso and its peers. The second part of this study is an analysis of the results of a survey administered to Valparaiso University seniors to assess their views of Valparaiso’s sexual assault policies and their feelings of safety on campus. The survey also looks at students' general opinions about and experiences with sexual assault. The goal of both studies is to look for problems with sexual assault on the Valparaiso campus and use student responses to formulate a potential way to address them.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

As a woman who lives in our gendered society today, issues of gender and equality have always been one of the primary interests on the forefront of my mind. I began to think about the issue that is rampant rape culture and sexual assault, especially on college campuses. This naturally brought to mind a research project I had done in 2017 where a group of other students and I looked into sexual assault policies on Valparaiso’s campus and crafted a memo of suggestions for improvement on this campus that we then sent to several university representatives. Unfortunately, we did not receive a response from most of the university officials it was sent to, and this led to the idea for this project. In the future, I would like to work in a public policy role, working with either incarcerated individuals or women, particularly victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

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