Monday, April 24:
"There are an estimated 109 rapes a year on campus. This
means that if you are a woman at Dartmouth, there is a 17
percent chance that you will be raped on campus before you
graduate." – Tim Andreadis
Tuesday, April 25:
Andreadis receives 55% of number-one votes a preliminary
SA Poll. 43% of respondents say Rape/Sexual Assault is an
issue they would like to see their SA president address,
making it the most important issue for respondents.
Tim Andreadis takes a noble stance in his opinion piece by
aiming to use the Student Assembly to combat the problem
of rape on Dartmouth's campus. However, the statistics
that Andreadis cites are being used to mislead and
misinform the campus. Andreadis cites a Daily Dartmouth
article to say that there are 109 rapes per year at
Dartmouth, and that there is a 17% chance that a female
undergraduate will be raped during her time at Dartmouth.
("Many rape incidents occur yearly at College," Feb. 6).
There is no factual basis for Andreadis' numbers.
The article Andreadis quotes reviewed a poll of a
stratified random sample of 4,446 college women who were
attending 2- or 4-year colleges. It was not a study of
Dartmouth College, of Ivy League schools, of small
schools, of private schools, or of New England colleges.
The study did not discuss between-school differences.
Andreadis presents no evidence that Dartmouth's rape rate
is the same as the national average.
Even if one were to make the heroic assumption that
Dartmouth's rape rate was the same as the national average
reported in the study, there is a further problem. This
study took place almost ten years ago and used only one
year's worth of data. Using a single year's data to
predict the rate of a major violent crime ten years later
can lead to incredible inaccuracies. For example: In
1990, the murder rate in Washington DC was 77.8 murders
per 10,000 people. By 2000, the murder rate was 41.8 /
10,000, nearly one half of what the 1990 value would have
predicted (if we can even call it a prediction). There is
good evidence that rape rates have also declined.
According to the Rape Abuse and Incest Nationwide Network
(www.RAINN.org), sexual assault has plummeted 64% since
1994. Given this evidence, we should not assume that the
rape rate for US College Women has remained constant since
the study was conducted.
Even if we believed both of these assumptions, there are
good reasons to doubt Andreadis' numbers. The study he
cites indicated that 1.7% of college women were raped and
1.1% of college women were victims of attempted rape in
any given academic year. That adds up to a 6.8% chance of
being raped over the course of four years at an college
which is at the nationwide average rape rate, and a
further 4.4% chance of being a victim of an attempted
rape. If a college campus has 2,000 women and the average
national rape victimization rate from 1996, one would
expect 34 rapes and 22 attempted rapes. Even his study
does not support either of his statistical claims.
Even rape victims advocacy groups would not agree with
Andreadis.. According to RAINN and the Rape Treatment
Center at UCLA Medical Center (www.911rape.org), one in
six (16.7%) women will be a victim of either attempted or
completed rape at some point during her life. Andreadis
claims that the rate of completed rape during four years
at an Ivy League college is greater than the rate of rape
and the rate of attempted rape combined over a woman's
entire life. Even if the rate of rape at college is
higher than during any other four year period in a woman's
life, Andreadis' suggested 17% statistic is absurd.
The only actual rape victimization numbers at Dartmouth
come from Safety and Security's annual report. According
to S & S, there were 3 rapes reported in 2003, 8 in 2004
and 8 in 2005. These numbers are probably lower than the
true number of rapes at Dartmouth in any given year. But
no one knows what the rape reporting rates on this campus,
this year are. Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, a
victims-advocacy group, estimates 42% of rapes in the last
five years were reported. The Sexual Victimization of
College Women study estimated only 5% of rapes were
reported in 1996. Using reporting rate numbers to
determine the true rate of
Statistics are one of the most powerful persuasive tools
for a relatively educated population with little time to
read deeper into the issues. They provide casual readers
with a factual, quantitative basis for making informed
decisions. Those who provide the numbers, journalists,
opinion columnists, and in this case, electoral
candidates, have an ethical responsibility to ensure that
they are providing accurate representations of the
underlying phenomena they attempt to describe. The rate
of rape at Dartmouth has serious psychological and
practical consequences for students and prospective
students alike. I hope this review of some of the
relevant facts will encourage skepticism of some of the
more extreme claims about the rate of sexual assault at
Dartmouth College and induce individuals to review the
relevant literature and formulate their own, independent
opinions about the prevalence of sexual assault at
Dartmouth. The subject of rape is too significant to
allow anything less.
This is deliberately misleading: the article in question does quote the study this dude mentions, but it uses it as counterpoint/background to the following:
A perhaps fairer estimate is 109 completed rapes per year at Dartmouth, a number that was considered accurate by the Coordinator of the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program Leah Prescott.This begs the question: do these bags think that Leah Prescott, who gets paid to think about and deal with sexual assault at Dartmouth, is lying, or do they think she is incompetent? Do they think she is out to get the fraternity system? Do you really think the College is going to make up violent crime statistics just go get a few drunk guys off their lawns? What the fuck kind of movie are these people living in?