The University of Montana is now requiring all students to watch an online video tutorial about rape prevention and score 100 percent on a quiz afterwards.
If they don't pass the quiz on stopping sexual assaults, they cannot register for second semester classes.
UM is trying to fight Missoula, Montana's reputation as the so-called "rape capital" of America after more than 80 cases of rape were reported in the town over the last three years, including 11 alleged sexual assaults involving UM students over the last 18 months alone.
There's also been the alleged gang-rape by members of University of Montana's lucrative Division I football team, Jezebel reported. Jordan Johnson, the UM's quarterback, was charged this summer with raping an acquaintance, although Johnson maintains his innocence.
All of this has prompted an investigation of the university and town police department by the U.S. Department of Justice. Inside Higher Ed reports UM is being investigated on whether they violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit sex discrimination and sexual assault and harassment in education program.
As shocking as 80 reported rapes may sound, figures from the U.S. Census show it's on par for a college town the size of Missoula.
Judging by news reports, one could easily believe sexual assaults on campus are an everyday thing. In the past week, there were several reports of sexual assaults being investigated at college campuses around the country:
- Tidiane Sako, a Millersville University student, is facing charges for an alleged attempted sexual assault in his dorm.
- Penn State University police are investigating a reported assault in a residence hall on the University Park campus.
- At the University of North Florida, police are searching for a suspect who reportedly assaulted a 22-year-old woman in a locker room in their Student Wellness Complex.
- A Southern Methodist University student was allegedly grabbed from behind and forced into the bushes, where she was sexually assaulted on campus.
- Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection with an alleged sexual assault which took place in a Northwestern State University residence hall.
- During move-in weekend at State University of New York, New Paltz, a man allegedly attempted to sexually assault a female student late at night, but she was able to fend him off.
- Police responded to a reported rape of a University of Georgia student at Oglethorpe House, which the Red & Black reports is the fourth rape in the past 17 days.
- The Daily O'Collegian reported Oklahoma State University Police Department have not yet made an arrest in an assault which allegedly occured early in the morning on Aug. 19 in a campus apartment.
- Security has been heightened at Harvard University after the reports of two rapes on or near the campus.
However, don't expect swift punishments by colleges if the suspects are caught and prosecuted. An NPR/Center for Public Integrity investigation found only 10 to 25 of men found responsible for sexual assault were expelled. And 1 out of 5 women in college will be sexually assaulted according to research funded by the Justice Department.
So far, UM is the first major public university to require a rape prevention quiz and tutorial. While it is being called a positive step, it's not being hailed as a be-all-end-all to preventing sexual assaults.
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