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FEMGEN 143: One in Five: The Law, Politics, and Policy of Campus Sexual Assault (SOC 188)

TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past three years, the issue of campus sexual assault has exploded into the public discourse. While definitive figures are difficult to obtain due to the necessarily private nature of these events, several recent studies estimate that between 20-25% of college women (and a potentially higher proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as around 5-10% of male students) experience sexual assault. People of color, LGBT students, disabled individuals and other vulnerable groups are at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Survivors have come forward across the country with harrowing stories of assault followed by what they describe as an insensitive or indifferent response from college administrators. These survivors have launched one of the most successful, and surprising, social movements in recent memory. As a result, the federal government under President Obama stepped up its civil rights en more »
TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past three years, the issue of campus sexual assault has exploded into the public discourse. While definitive figures are difficult to obtain due to the necessarily private nature of these events, several recent studies estimate that between 20-25% of college women (and a potentially higher proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as around 5-10% of male students) experience sexual assault. People of color, LGBT students, disabled individuals and other vulnerable groups are at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Survivors have come forward across the country with harrowing stories of assault followed by what they describe as an insensitive or indifferent response from college administrators. These survivors have launched one of the most successful, and surprising, social movements in recent memory. As a result, the federal government under President Obama stepped up its civil rights enforcement in this area, with over 300 colleges and universities under investigation for allegedly mishandling student sexual assault complaints as of July 2017. At the same time, this heightened response has led to a series of high-profile lawsuits by accused students who assert that they were falsely accused or subjected to mishandled investigations that lacked sufficient due process protections. The one thing that survivors and accused students appear to agree on is that colleges are not handling these matters appropriately. Colleges have meanwhile complained of being whipsawed between survivors, accused students, interest groups, and enforcement authorities. The election of President Trump has now created significant uncertainty about how this issue will be handled by the Department of Education going forward. The Trump Administration took the extraordinary step this September of rolling back all of the Obama Administration guidance on this subject. Meanwhile Congress has been unable to pass legislation addressing the issue, though there are several bipartisan bills under consideration. This course focuses on the legal, policy, and political issues surrounding sexual assault on college campuses. We will learn background about sexual violence and the efforts to implement legal protections for survivors in the educational context. We will also study the basic legal frameworks governing campus assault, focusing on the relevant federal laws such as Title IX and the Clery Act. We will hear from guest speakers who are actively involved in shaping policy and advocating in this area, including lawyers, lobbyists, filmmakers, journalists, and policymakers. The subject matter of this course is sensitive and students are expected to treat the material with sensitivity. Much of the reading and subject matter may be upsetting and/or triggering for students who identify as survivors. There is no therapeutic component for this course, although supportive campus resources and Title IX staff are available for those who need them. This course was previously a Sophomore College Class that is now being offered as a regular quarter-length course. Enrollment is by INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION. Access the consent form here feminist.stanford.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/forms or email rmeisels@stanford.edu to request a form via email. Cross-listed with Law 7065. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignment, Final Paper or Project.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Dauber, M. (PI)
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