AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

How Can We Prevent Sexual Assault on Our Campus? A comprehensive history of Safe Ride and a plan for the future

by Hailey Elisabeth Chamberlain

Institution: University of Oregon
Year: 2014
Keywords: Sexual Assault; Campus Assault; University of Oregon; Safe Ride; Assault Prevention; Bystander Intervention; Sex Education
Record ID: 2056077
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/18074


As one of the first self-proclaimed feminist organizations on our campus, Safe Ride has been offering free safe rides to students and faculty and fighting sexual assault since 1985. In almost 30 years of service, what roadblocks have gotten in the way? How has Safe Ride changed? Is Safe Ride still a feminist organization? Amidst grievances, policy changes, expansions, and so much more-is Safe Ride still dedicated to the original mission of keeping people safe? My research question is- "Based on what we know about sexual assault, is Safe Ride effective in the fight against sexual assault?" For my project, I first researched what we know about sexual assault on campuses, and how campuses have been responding to sexual assault. I looked at a lot of peer reviewed journals and papers which gave information about the legal process surrounding sexual assault, talked about how Oregon schools have been responding, and what methods have been employed to try to combat sexual assault on campuses. Next, I conducted many interviews with activists against assault on campus, and asked what they know about Safe Ride, and what we need to be doing to stop campus assault. I also did archival research to learn more about Safe Ride's history. Because I am a current member of the core staff at Safe Ride, I had access to the staff for interviews, in addition to having access to their records. My archival research included looking at the amount of rides Safe Ride has given in the last few years, expanding by thousands of rides every year. I also looked at Safe Ride’s history binder which has the compiled articles written about Safe Ride that they have collected since 1985. I also looked at records of the grievances that were filed against Safe Ride before they became gender inclusive, and lastly I looked at the articles about Safe Ride on the Emerald website. Lastly, I conducted research on what schools have been doing to fight sexual assault. Again, I looked at peer reviewed journals and papers through the library databases. I specifically looked for papers that did research on what schools had already been doing and what affect there was. In my research I’ve concluded that schools that focus on three things are the most successful. The first is educating students on how to be effective bystanders, the second is having accessible resources, and the third is having sanctions in place to respond to sexual assault. I used this information to formulate a plan for the university and for Safe Ride, to encourage both to work together to provide the necessary resources to students.