SDSU Not Handling Sexual Assaults Adequately: Audit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A critical report by the state auditor's office found San Diego State University failed to adequately handle reports of sexual assaults. NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala reports. (Published Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014)

    San Diego State University failed to adequately handle reports of sexual assault, according to a new report from the California State Auditor. Read the full audit here

    The state audit found SDSU did not adequately train staff on how to respond to sexual assault complaints. The audit highlighted one case where a faculty adviser failed to report a sexual harassment complaint and the victim was harassed by the same person again.

    “If cases aren't being reported as they should be then that is something we should definitely improve on,” SDSU student Jayneil Kamdar said. “Where do you turn to if there's any sort of incident?”

    The audit also found SDSU needed to do a better job letting victims know how to report sexual assault and what they can expect from the university. Students say there isn't much information on how to prevent sexual assault on campus and no clear protocol on how to report it.

    “I'm not educated on what they would do as to if it would happen, like what they would do to catch them, if they would provide some kind of support, that kind of thing,” student Megan Kelly said.

    The report also identified three sexual assault prevention programs targeting sororities and fraternities, but those programs aren't mandatory.

    SDSU student Tracy Mange says she hopes to see more training and programs to tackle the problem.

    “I think it would help bring it down, and then it'll also give the women here on campus that have been sexually assaulted a chance to come forward and to put this issue more out there because it's something that needs to be solved," she said.

    The university reported 31 sexual assaults from 2010 to 2012.

    “You see it on the news all the time about all the sexual assaults that happen here on the SDSU campus, all the sexual assaults that happen in the parking structures or parties and stuff like that,” Mange said. “It kind of worries me."

    SDSU released the following statement to NBC 7:

    We appreciate the opportunity this audit gave us to look at our policies and procedures as they relate to the issues of Title IX, sexual assault and sexual harassment on our campus. San Diego State University is committed to training and educating our students, faculty and staff about these issues, and appropriately managing reported incidents. There is always room for improvement. The audit provides continued opportunities for this, and we will be following those recommendations.

    The state also audited UC Berkeley, UCLA and Cal State Chico's sexual assault practices.

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