- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2014

A women’s advocacy group announced a new series of web ads Thursday to educate students applying to college about problems with rape and sexual assault on their prospective campuses.

The ads from UltraViolet specifically call out some of the 86 schools currently being investigated by the federal government, including Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University and the University of Virginia, the recent subject of a controversial Rolling Stone article on campus sexual assault.

“UVA has a rape problem. Find out more before you apply,” one of the ads reads.

UltraViolet, which began running ads on Facebook earlier this week, target prospective students to let them and their parents know if there’s a problem at a school to which they might apply, according to a release from the women’s advocacy group. The five-figure national ad campaign is also meant to pressure the Princeton Review to consider response to sexual assault in its annual ranking of schools.

“Students and parents deserve to know which schools are addressing this issue, and which are sweeping survivors of rape under the rug,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “The Princeton Review needs to stop shielding schools that protect rapists and provide this important information for our nation’s high school graduates who are applying to college.”

The Princeton Review said last year that it takes campus sexual assault seriously, but declined to include answers about how schools handle reports or investigations in its annual list of college rankings, the UltraViolet release said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat who is trying to reform the campus sexual assault system, has warned parents and prospective students to look at rates of reporting and investigation in their review of a school. While some may think no investigations is a positive sign that no assaults are happening on campus, Ms. McCaskill has previously said that it could be a sign reports are not being taken seriously.

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