October 15th, 2013 | University

Sexual misconduct resources at the U.S. Naval Academy

In an article today on Forbes, attorney Steve Cohen used the U.S. Naval Academy’s response resources to sexual misconduct to critique that of Yale’s.

The article, titled “Getting Serious About Sexual Misconduct (And What Yale Can Learn from Navy),” describes how Vice Admiral Mike Miller, Superintendent of the Naval Academy, decided not to shield two students accused of aggravated sexual from facing court against the recommendations of a military judge. Meanwhile at Yale, 61 complaints were received, and only six students were found guilty of “nonconsensual sex.” Just one out of those six students was asked to leave, and only for a semester, Cohen pointed out.

Cohen also contrasts the two colleges’ initiatives to engage students about these issues. While Yale merely authored a report and made it available to students, Cohen said, seniors at the Naval Academy are required to go through a day-long First Class Character Capstone Seminar, during which they discuss hypothetical situations that place them into ethical dilemmas. These case studies cover sexual misconduct, in addition to a variety of other issues like abortion, financial issues and excessive drinking, Cohen said.

Despite being more impressed with the Naval Academy’s approach, Cohen acknowledged that the Yale administration was “well-intentioned.” He said Yale should attempt to implement a similar seminar or workshop program and make it mandatory for all students to attend.