Aside from weighing a university’s location, size, and cafeteria food, women’s activist group UltraViolet wants prospective students to look at sexual violence on campus.
The group is launching an online campaign against several distinguished colleges and universities warning potential students about their “rape problem.”
University of Michigan, Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley and Dartmouth College, are some of the schools under fire. They are all under federal investigation for their handling of past sexual assault cases.
Based on online activity and location of the user, the jarring ads from UltraViolet will appear in search results, mobile ads, and on Facebook.
And they’re aiming where it hurts. The activist group is focusing specifically on prospective students to influence the school’s “yield” rate — a number that’s important for a college’s PR.
These advertisements came in light of the Department of Education’s announcement that it will investigate 55 schools for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints.
UltraViolet Organising Director Karin Roland told The Huffington Post it’s important to raise these issues, because the information is difficult to find. The group also wants “college administrations to know the era of sweeping stuff under the rug is over,” she said.
In the coming months, UltraViolet plans to spend “tens of thousands of dollars” on their campaign against college sexual assault.
University of Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald called the campaign “unfortunate,” and said the university “meets or exceeds nearly all of the recommendations” announced Tuesday by the White House.
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