The "Fixer" at the Heart of the Campus Sexual Assault Debate
An excerpt from Vanessa Grigoriadis's new book about sex, power and consent on campus.
Illustrations by Sophia Foster-Dimino
One spring morning, I traveled to Malvern, Pennsylvania, an aspirational middle-class suburb near Philadelphia’s historic Main Line. I was in the middle of a three-year reporting project about evolving sexual norms on American college campuses (and the prevalence of sexual assault), culminating in the publication of my book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus. Everyone told me I needed to meet Brett Sokolow, a man with one of the oddest jobs in America – he’s the nation’s top university sexual-misconduct adviser. He gave me the address of the type of mini-malls common in bourgeois areas today (a spin center, sushi, a boutique named Bedazzled) and told me to meet him in the cozy coffee shop. When I arrive early, I peruse the trinkets for sale, most designed to appeal to moms: hand-painted ceramic lockets on chains, patterned skirts for little girls, paper roses made from vintage books of “the greatest love stories” (Romeo and