Two thirds of US college students have been harassed on campus

Harassment free zone

That’s according to a survey of college students and school administrators commissioned by  the anti-street harassment group Hollaback! Here are some more facts from the study… 

  • 46% of students said harassment caused disappointment with college experience
  • 20% said harassment caused inability to concentrate in class
  • 23% said harassment prevented attendance in class / social activities
  • 55% of college administrators said that current systems to report and address harassment are not sufficient
  • only 17% of students said that they reported harassment to a person of authority

Considering that harassment is a daily fact of moving through public space for many women, trans, and gender non-conforming folks, this isn’t exactly surprising. Campuses, after all, are always embedded in larger communities–to a greater or lesser extent.

But as Alexandra argued when she wrote about the radical potential of school sexual misconduct boards, since colleges have obligations–legal and just, ya know, mission-wise–to foster a safe and productive learning environment, they are promising sites for creating change. Though they’re clearing falling down on the job when it comes to addressing the whole range of gender-based violence, as communities unto themselves, colleges could and should be harassment-free zones.

Image via.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery was lucky enough to never experience harassment on her college campus. Unless you count those aggressive geese.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation