Campus Violence: Understanding the Extraordinary Through the Ordinary
Journal of College and University Law, Vol. 35, pp. 613-690, 2009
79 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009 Last revised: 28 Oct 2015
Date Written: August 18, 2009
Recent mass shootings on college campuses have focused many on the responsibilities of colleges and universities to prevent and respond to such violence. However, in statistical terms, this type of campus violence can thankfully be considered relatively extraordinary. In contrast, the only type of campus violence that is unfortunately common enough to be characterized as “ordinary” is peer sexual assault and similar forms of campus gender-based violence. Accordingly, this essay explores the scope and dynamics of both “ordinary” and “extraordinary” campus violence, discusses the law and “best practices” dealing with peer sexual violence victims’ rights and the due process rights of students accused of misconduct, and contrasts the typical disciplinary responses of many schools to both the methods required by the applicable law and those advocated by the best practices literature. It concludes that understanding peer sexual violence and applying that understanding to less common forms of campus violence may help us to prevent and understand what the proper responses should be to both forms of violence.
Keywords: sexual, assault, harassment, violence, sex discrimination, education, college, university, campus
JEL Classification: K40, I20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation