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Consent to Sex on Campus

Author: Laura Beth Nielsen

This project is a multi-year, large-scale data collection and analysis phase of a research project about “new” civil rights. Nielsen is studying the impact (if any) of the Obama-era “Dear Colleague” (DCL) letter on undergraduates at universities, as they relate to drinking, drugs, and sexual activity. The project combines a large-scale quantitative analysis of Title IX compliance policies at a national, random sample of universities, along with a large-scale, in-person interview phase with undergraduates at five college campuses in the Midwest about Title IX compliance regarding sexual assault among undergraduates. The research also will incorporate (as is possible), the current dismantling of these regulations by the Trump Administration. The study builds on Nielsen’s previous scholarly work investigating the dissemination of information about civil rights, how organizations respond when they are responsible for enforcement, the institutional structures that interfere or complement achieving the goals of the civil rights movement, and, most importantly, how, if at all, ordinary people think about, integrate, and ignore law as they go about their daily life.

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