Thanks to a new policy approved earlier this month, Indiana University in Bloomington will no longer allow student athletes with a history of either sexual or domestic violence to join any of its sports programs.
“Any prospective student-athlete — whether a transfer student, incoming freshman or other status — who has been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence (as defined below), or has been found responsible for sexual violence by a formal institutional disciplinary action at any previous collegiate or secondary school (excluding limited discipline applied by a sports team or temporary disciplinary action during an investigation) shall not be eligible for athletically related financial aid, practice or competition at Indiana University,” read the athletic department’s new directive.
Moreover, the institute defined sexual violence as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”
While the decision is indeed praiseworthy, considering the rise in the disturbing trend of documented and accused athlete violence across colleges in the United States, the Indiana University’s plan to curb sexual violence on campus is not as bold or unyielding as it appears to be.
For starters, under the policy, only those convicted of committing such a heinous crime or those who pled guilty would be banned from joining the athletic programs. It does not include those who have been accused or have a history of being linked to such offenses. Convictions for domestic and sexual assaults are rare, which means the policy doesn’t entirely prevent students with violence issues from playing at Indiana.
However, it is still a commendable effort on the university’s part.
“I think this will be an important policy to help protect members of the Indiana University community,” Indiana University-Bloomington Athletic Director Fred Glass told The Indy Star. “My hope is that we're leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”
Sexual harassment and violence has been a known problem at the Indiana University.
A 2015 student sexual assault survey conducted by the school found at least 17 percent of the female undergraduates and 6 percent of the female graduates experienced “attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration” while at the university. Nearly 29 percent of female undergrad students reported experiencing “some form of nonconsensual sexual touching,” while 35 percent of the female undergrads and 34 percent of the female grad students reported being the victims of some form of sexual harassment.”
“86 percent of the undergraduate women and 85 percent of the graduate women participants who reported experiencing some form of nonconsensual sexual contact did not report the incident to anyone at IU,” read the report.
That’s not it.
As Vice reported, in 2016 one of the deans at Indiana University, who ironically oversaw cases of sexual abuse and harassment, was accused of assaulting a woman himself. The allegations prompted the school to review 18 more cases of the same nature.
Moreover, in September last year, an IU athlete, Kiante Christopher Enis, was arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation.