Over a year ago, on January 24, 2018, Larry Nassar was sentenced for over 150 sexual assault cases involving athletes. Starting in 1992 these assaults targeted several students at Central Michigan University as well as elite gymnasts.
Nassar got what he deserved, most likely dying in prison for his crimes. However, Central Michigan University failed to take several reports ranging from 1997 to 2015 seriously which led to Nassar assaulting even more women.
CMU covered for Nassar instead of investigating to protect his reputation, as well as their own. This seems to be a growing trend among universities across the United States. Students are reporting sexual assaults or rapes, and the university tries to cover up any scandal it can to preserve its reputation.
I'm not naive, I understand that not every university is looking to silence victims. Programs like Title IX are great and truly try to help sexual assault victims. However, there are stories across the nation that read just like the victims from CMU. It is time that universities stop failing their students and start taking sexual assault reports seriously.
One might think that this is an issue specific to CMU, an issue that occurred because of one or a few people's gross negligences. This is occurring in universities all around the United States of America, and the rest of the world. We must ask for better from our institutions, otherwise, there will surely be another Nassar.
College campuses must start creating a culture where reporting means something, where there will be consequences for offenders. Otherwise, there will be another case like Nassar. If you disagree with me and think universities are doing an alright job of listening to victims, then think about it like this. What if it was your best friend, your sibling, or your child who was assaulted because someone did not take a report seriously? What if hundreds of victims could be saved by simply listening and investigating reports?