Staff Editorial: Lack of transparency on sexual assaults risks student safety

Tulane has finally begun to address sexual violence on campus with new programs, such as Kognito At-Risk, and campus-wide training, yet when it come to specific reports of sexual assault, the voices of the administration have fallen silent.

They have failed to address the three sexual assault cases that were reported over Labor Day weekend. Two of the three sexual assault cases occurred on campus, and the university has not released any information to the student body concerning these assaults.

Sexual assault is a hot topic across the nation on college campuses, as it should be. We feel we have moved beyond shying away from these acts of violence, instead facing them by talking about sexual assaults within the community. As Provost Michael Bernstein said in an email Aug.  27 to the student body about Title IV, one sexual assault is too many.  

Jon Barnwell, Tulane University Police Department superintendent, said he was happy that students were willing to go to authorities and felt they were safe reporting their cases. Making victims of sexual assaults feel supported and protected is necessary, but the rest of campus should know when these incidents occur. When TUPD neglects to inform the student body of these incidents, it puts every student at risk. Students are more aware of the imminent danger of sexual assault when they receive timely reports, which encourages them to be mindful of the risks associated with living in New Orleans. Students should be especially mindful of where we live, because Business Insider ranked New Orleans the No. 5 most dangerous city in the United States based upon crime data released by the FBI.  

There should be no hesitation on the part of the administration to release this information to the Tulane community through crime reports. 

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