CSU Chico among colleges lacking in sexual violence policies

CSU Chico among colleges lacking in sexual violence policies

CHICO, Calif. - Chico State is among four schools recently audited by the state for their sexual harassment and violence policies, all whom are said to not be doing enough.

The audit was prompted in part after President Obama created a White House task force to look into how sexual violence is handled on campuses nationwide.

The California state legislature recently called for the audit, which focused on Chico State, San Diego State University, UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Among the findings, the schools aren't adequately training athletic coaching and dormitory staffs on sexual assault reporting procedures.

It also says employees who are the point of contact for victims aren't properly trained on how to respond to and report the incidents.

The audit says the universities are also lacking in communication with victims after a report has been filed, many of whom are left without an update on their case until their attacker has been punished.

Chico State public affairs director Joe Wills says the university isn't taking the findings as a black mark on the school but a chance to get better.

"This audit has given us an opportunity, and those other three universities, to review our policies, our practices, work with (the state)," Wills said. "The audit says we're already doing many of these things now, we need to do more of them. We agree and we're going to do that and continue to look for ways to do more."

Among other things, Wills says the school will now be giving dormitory staff sexual violence training twice a year, a recommendation of the audit.

They'll also better post policies around campus and inform incoming students what the school's sexual violence policies and procedures are.

According to Wills, the university has a Title IX advisory group made up of various campus staff who is already working together to improve communication, training and response to victims.

The audit wasn't all negative for Chico State.

Wills says they've been applauded for their Safe Place support services inside the campus police department, where sexual harassment and violence victims are to go to file a report and get support.

The audit could also create a better informed employee and student community when it comes to sexual violence.

The CSU Chancellor's Office has said they'll be implementing suggestions included in the audit system-wide, according to Wills.

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