Robby Soave: The third part of your series [in The Atlantic: The Question of Rape in Campus Sexual Assault] focuses on the fact that we don’t know what the exact numbers are, but it certainly seems like there’s a disproportionate number of students of color and immigrant men who are being accused of these issues.
Emily Yoffe: No one’s talking about race, but in the cases where the name comes out, you type in the name and it’s a black guy, it’s a black guy, it’s a black guy. The way you get hard numbers is the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights demands that institutions of higher education report the race of students being punished, the way they do in the K–12 realm. But they don’t. I think they don’t want to know.
Let me put one little caveat on that. There’s a danger. When you say we’re going to collect information that could change behavior, it’s not a neutral thing. So are schools going to say, “We’ve got to make sure we’re accusing more white guys, because we could get in trouble otherwise”? That’s not the outcome you’re looking for.
But I talk about Colgate University, which was one of the few places you could actually get numbers because there was a race discrimination complaint brought. Colgate has about 4 percent black student enrollment, which means 2 percent black male. That year, 50 percent of the accused were black. And I had another example where the numbers were almost precisely the same at a large state school—about 2 percent black male enrollment, and the semester I was looking at, at least 50 percent of the accused were black.