Major Universities Grapple With Numerous Rape Reports in January

Ohio State University (OSU) and the University of Utah (U of U) have been driven into the spotlight following numerous reports of rape submitted in January.

The U of U announced Monday in a letter to students that it was suspending all social activities at fraternities and sororities for two weeks. The decision follows two students coming forward to report that they had been sexually assaulted while participating in Greek Life events.

The first report was from a female student who stated that she was raped last September at a "wine Wednesday" party at a fraternity house. A second student came forward this week to report they had been raped at a different fraternity house party in December.

In light of the reports, the U of U stated: "We stand with these survivors. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, please know that it is not your fault and there are resources to support you."

The Salt Lake City-based university also added that it would be imposing sanctions on all Greek organizations that are officially associated with the school, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"Fraternities and sororities have operated adjacent to our campus for more than 100 years," the U of U statement continued. "These independent organizations have been allowed to affiliate with the university with the understanding that they will serve the greater good of the campus community."

University of Utah
The University of Utah has been grappling with a pair of sexual assaults that were reported in January. Here, the entrance to the university can be seen. iStock/Getty

Over 1,700 miles away, sexual assault continues to be a significant problem at Ohio State University.

In January, OSU reported seven instances of rape or sexual assault, according to law enforcement logs. Five of the incidents occurred in January, with two other survivors coming forward about assaults that occurred last August and December.

This brings the total number of reported sexual assaults at OSU to 77 in 2021, according to statistics from university police.

OSU has not yet released a statement on the recent allegations. However, the university police website states that "sexual assaults, including date/acquaintance rape, are a very serious concern," and provides resources for survivors of assault.

WCMH-TV reported that crime rates had been going down on OSU's campus in all categories except for sexual assaults.

The Clery Act, which requires U.S. universities to report yearly statistics on crime, stated that rapes had been increasing at OSU every year approaching the end of the decade.

This includes 93 reported rapes in 2018, 118 in 2019, and 134 in 2020. However, 2021's 77 reported assaults actually marked a significant drop in the number of on-campus rapes for OSU compared to the spike seen the prior three years.

Rape and sexual assault continue to be a significant problem at college campuses across the United States.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) states that "13 percent of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation."

Tracking the true number of assaults on college campuses remains difficult due to the hesitance of victims to report the attack. "Only 20% of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement," RAINN stated.

Newsweek has reached out to the U of U and OSU for comment.