Thursday, September 4, 2014

University Daily Kansan: KU Administration lacks response to Huffington Post case

KU Administration lacks response to Huffington Post case

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Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2014 12:45 am | Updated: 9:31 am, Thu Sep 4, 2014.
University and Lawrence offices have not responded after coming under national scrutiny based on The Huffington Post article published on Sept. 2 detailing the punishment a student received for sexual assault last year.
When contacted for comment, the Alumni Association did not return The Kansan’s call Wednesday.
The Kansas Board of Regents did not return The Kansan’s voicemail Wednesday.
The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence did not return The Kansan’s voicemail Wednesday.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson failed to return The Kansan’s call and voicemail Wednesday.
Watkins Health Center directed The Kansan to speak with the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA) Wednesday.
The IOA investigates each sexual assault reported and recommends sanctions for the perpetrator to the Office of Student Conduct, which then decides which recommendations to implement.
The article said that an investigation by the IOA determined the man guilty of “non-consensual sex” and punished him with probation and a ban from University housing. He was also ordered to write a four-page reflection paper and attend counseling.
Jane McQueeny, the executive director of IOA, said probation means that the male involved had to meet with the director of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Office of Student Conduct determines how the University will address allegations of non-academic misconduct.
IOA recommended the man also do community service, but the Office of Student Conduct decided that was too “punitive,” according to the article.
In an interview on Sept. 3, McQueeny said she couldn’t speak directly to the specific case. She said IOA investigated 20 reports of sexual assault and harassment in 2013 and 17 so far this year. Of these 37, she said 27 cases were sexual assault. McQueeny said they try to do what’s best for victims.
“I think it's important to know that we can go through an investigation and do the best we can and do everything right, but at the end there is always going to be one side that isn't happy, who's disgruntled, who feels like they weren't treated fairly,” McQueeny said. “And so part of what we try to do is to be a front in our communications and be transparent in the process, but that still doesn't guarantee that someone's not going to be unhappy with the result.”
A statement made by the University on Wednesday said they are committed to creating a safe environment for everyone in the community. The University works with victims to determine appropriate sanctions against the accused. In attempts to prevent sexual assault from occurring, the University provides sexual assault and harassment training to all students, faculty and staff.
Background information
According to the Huffington Post article, both students involved in the case attended a party on Oct. 18, 2013, hosted by the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. After midnight, the female student was drunk and was assisted by the male student, who walked with her to the dorm where they both lived, the article said. Once there, they reportedly had sex in his room.
The woman reported the assault on Oct. 20, 2013. The article said that the man later told campus police that he continued to have sex with the woman after she said “no,” “stop” and “I can’t do this.” 
Paige Stingley, Emily Donovan, McKenna Harford, Dalton Kingery and Erica Staab contributed to this article.
— Edited by Hannah Barling and Amelia Arvesen