Opinion

OLIVER: Colleges Are Suffering From A Sexual Assault Epidemic — And Elites Want Us To Send More Kids

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Daniel Oliver Contributor

Why do the American people push college education on the young — and want to spend more money doing that? According to The Washington Post, a large number of students at “prestigious colleges” become perpetrators or victims of nonconsensual sexual violence (including rape). Is that just the result of alcohol (that’s bad enough), or is it a cultural deficit that needs serious attention?

On the same day we learned that Democrats in the House of Representatives were offering a plan to make college more affordable, we also learned from The Washington Post that at 33 prestigious colleges one fourth of undergraduates tell of nonconsensual acts. Alas, the nonconsensual acts the students are complaining about are not the left-wing indoctrination carried out against them by most college teachers. 

The survey apparently documents the “disturbing prevalence” of sexual violence at prestigious public and private colleges. Here’s a great line from The Post piece, and perhaps right from the survey: “25.9 percent of female undergraduates had experienced nonconsensual contact through physical force or because they were unable to give consent.”

Hmm. “Unable to give consent.” Why? Were they all Roman Catholics who spoke only Latin?

Or were they, perhaps … drunk? And if so, whose fault was that? Please don’t say Donald Trump’s.

And wouldn’t it be interesting to know other facts about both the victims and the perpetrators? Such facts as: did they grow up in two-parent households? Do they go to church? And if so, which church? And where did they come from? New York City? Or fly-over land? In other words, what is their culture?

If you were told that one quarter of airplanes crashed, you’d never fly again. If one quarter of girls/women at colleges are sexually assaulted (some of which assaults are genuine rape) why would you send your daughters to college? Or at least, why would you send them to the “prestigious” colleges represented in this survey?

But now Democrats in the House of Representatives want to make attending these major prestigious cesspools even easier. Basically, what the Democrats want to do — when you strip away the wrapping paper and ribbon — is throw more money at the colleges. The Republicans won’t go along, of course — although you can never be entirely sure of the “of course.” 

We all know that college tuition has vastly outpaced inflation while the quality of education has gone down. The advertisement should be: “Remember, you pay more, but you get less!”

A sensible education bill would require colleges to reduce their tuition to the level it was at, say, 10 years ago. Most other organizations have been able to harness modern technology and do more with less. Why not colleges?

It is generally agreed that the effect of the massive government student loan programs has been to allow colleges to increase the number of administrators and diversity programs — and pay employees more while delivering less education to students. It’s the students who have born the burden, some not paying off their loans until their own children are about to go to college themselves. What a rip-off! If Congress has any role, it is to make the institutions behave. Shutting off the money spigot is the beginning of wisdom. 

And Congress could also condition any taxpayer funding for colleges on the reduction of sexual assaults to the levels they are in the surrounding communities — though picking the baseline community statistic might require some, uh, adjustment. A college student may be safer on the University of Chicago campus than in south side Chicago, but that may not be good enough. 

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame which has the left apoplectic. He talked about a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order” waged by “militant secularists.” Yes, and …? What’s the left’s complaint? Do they deny Barr’s claim?

Ask yourself this: What remains of the traditional moral order (the traditional culture) when a quarter of college undergraduates at the nation’s prestigious colleges are sexually assaulted? 

You shouldn’t have to be a theocrat to disapprove of Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein — but it probably would help. “People” — well, all the smart glitterati, anyway — knew for years about militant secular culture vandals Clinton and Weinstein, but kept mum. Now they profess to be “shocked” to find out that Clinton and Weinstein were behaving like … Clinton and Weinstein.

Barr has done a terrific public service — for which he will be roundly condemned by twice the number of usual suspects.

On the basis of his Notre Dame speech, Barr could even run for president. But then, of course, he’d have to stop investigating Joe Biden. 

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.