Audit Finds SDSU Fails To Adequately Train Employees On Sexual Violence
Monday, July 7, 2014
Aired 7/7/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Margarita Fernandez, Spokeswoman, California State Auditor
Verna Griffin-Tabor, CEO/Executive Director, Center for Community Solutions
CA State Auditor Report On Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
A new report finds San Diego State and other universities failed to properly train faculty and staff and educate students on sexual harassment and sexual violence.
It's part of review by the California State Auditor.
According to the report San Diego State, University of California, Berkeley, UCLA and California State University Chico:
"...do not ensure that all faculty and staff are sufficiently trained on responding to and reporting student incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Although staff involved in key roles of the incident-reporting process receive adequate training, certain other employees who are likely to be the first point of contact, such as resident advisors and athletic coaches, do not. By not ensuring that employees are sufficiently trained on responding to and reporting incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, the universities risk having their employees mishandle student reports of the incidents."
While the audit found SDSU has an adequate overall process for responding to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, the report said the university could do more to educate students on reporting options and what to expect regarding the complaint process.
"None of the four universities consistently complied with requirements in state law for distribution of policies to inform students and university employees of how to appropriately respond to and handle incidents of sexual violence and sexual harassment. "
For example, the report says SDSU doesn't ensure that all incoming students attend educational programs on sexual training. The training is part of freshman orientation but incoming students are not required to attend. UCLA and Chico State, on the other hand, place registration holds on those students who fail to complete the training.
The audit makes several recommendations including, additional university-required sexual harassment and sexual assault training for resident advisors, coaches, student athletes, fraternities and sororities.
It also suggests posting sexual harassment policies in prominent locations.
San Diego State is in the process of implementing a Sexual Violence Task Force
because it recognized the need for more coordination between the departments involved in planning preventive educational activities and services for its students, the report says.
The issue of sexual violence on college campuses has been front and center this year. In January, President Obama established the White House Task Force To Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, is also co-sponsoring the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.
An SDSU spokesman told KPBS Midday Edition, no one was available to participate on Monday's program but released a statement saying in part:
“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 Washington Post recently compiled data to compare how U.S. college campuses vary in reports of sex offenses.
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