COLLEGES AND universities are not equipped to investigate violent crimes against their students, on or off campus. That lesson seems to have been lost on Emerson College, where a group of students recently filed a complaint with the federal Department of Education alleging that the school downplayed two sexual assaults.
For years, colleges routinely covered up crimes on campus for fear of driving away prospective students. That situation finally changed in 1990, when Congress passed the Clery Act. It requires any college taking part in federal financial aid programs to collect, classify, and document crimes that take place on or near campus.