header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
77°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 29
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
COC


By Martin Mascias Jr.

LOS ANGELES – University administrators are falling short in their responsibilities to swiftly hold accountable staff and faculty named in sexual violence complaints and align disciplinary policies with federal guidelines, according to a state audit released Thursday of three University of California campuses.

Campuses did not consistently follow federal guidance intended to protect survivors of sexual violence, and failed to effectively analyze complaints data to identify and address trends, the audit found.

State auditors said Thursday that three UC campuses – Los Angeles, Berkeley and Davis – took much longer to discipline faculty in the Academic Senate than they did to discipline staff.

On average, the three campuses disciplined staff within 43 days after the conclusion of an investigation compared to 220 days for faculty in the Academic Senate.

In addition, the audit reported that the three campuses disciplined faculty inconsistently, especially faculty members who were the subjects of multiple sexual harassment complaints.

A 2015 campus climate report prepared for the Association of American Universities surveyed 27 universities and found 21 percent of senior undergraduates had been the victims of non-consensual sexual contact while attending college.

Over the past 10 years, and in 2015 and 2016 in particular, the number of recorded complaints from students claiming sexual harassment by faculty and staff has increased, according to state auditors.

“From 2014 through 2016, the number of these complaints increased from 100 to 205,” the report found.

Part of the increase is due to increased training for university staff and faculty, outreach to students and improved methods for recognizing and reporting sexual violence on campus.

“University students who experience sexual harassment or sexual violence suffer harm to their emotional and physical well‑being, which can also impact their academic performance,” the audit said.

Title IX law requires the university to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment.

“Campus Title IX coordinators, if they had a role in deciding discipline—which they currently do not have—could help the university gain consistency in the discipline it imposes.”

The audit found that the campuses inconsistently followed Title IX guidance in their informal and formal processes to address sexual harassment complaints.

“The three campuses frequently exceeded investigation time frames without obtaining approved time extensions and they often did not send all required information to the complainants and respondents,” the audit said.

In a statement to Courthouse News, UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said the university is working to implement all recommendations made by the California State Auditor.

“We share UC’s and CSA’s commitment to combating and preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence on our campus,” Vazquez said. “We will also encourage the Academic Senate to do its part to address the concerns expressed in the audit to ensure that these matters are handled in a timely manner.”

Kimberly Hale, a UC Davis spokesperson said the university has a “strong” Title IX program that is the result of continuous improvements implemented over the past decade.

“We appreciate the feedback and recommendations from the state auditor, which will help us continue to make improvements in our process,” Hale said. “We have been and remain committed to taking immediate and appropriate corrective action when we receive reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence.”

UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore said there more work to be done on campus to improve safety and hold faculty, staff and students accountable regarding campus sexual violence.

“We are committed to fostering a campus community where sexual harassment and sexual violence are not tolerated,” Gilmore said, adding that the CSA review period – between 2007 and 2016 – did not account for recent changes in policy at Berkeley.

“The campus has made a number of important changes since 2016 including the creation of the campus Peer Review Committee to help ensure greater consistency in faculty disciplinary cases and the launch of the MyVoice survey to further guide our prevention and response efforts,” Gilmore said.

An estimated 5.7 million Californians experience intimate partner violence annually, according a April 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report offered a series of solutions to sexual and intimate partner violence such as teaching young couples about forms of abuse, teaching bystander intervention training to interrupt sexual violence in public and normalization of boys and men as allies against sexual violence.

“The intent is to make the prevention of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence everyone’s concern rather than solely a women’s issue,” the report states.

Social service groups and state health agencies should embrace a “trauma-informed” approach to care, the CDC report said, which factors in the ways that a child’s exposure to violence and abuse can shape their behavior as adults in negative ways.

A February 2018 report by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault found that college students have the highest self-reported rate of rape and other forms of sexual assault.

Government spending on healthcare and other services for college survivors of sexual violence was much less compared to other categories of survivors.

In 2012, 5.1 percent of college students were raped or sexually assaulted in California, and government spending was $1,070 per college student survivor, the report found. Five times as much was spent per incident of sexual violence against military personnel.

This is critical, the report said, since not all health effects are immediately apparent, such as deteriorating mental and emotional health, which may “arise many years later, and may occur across the lifespan.”

The report also found that the tangible costs of sexual violence in California, including medical and mental health care, prevention, investigation, treatment and lost work productivity totaled over $140 billion.

“This translates to an average of $3,700 for each resident of California per year,” the report said. “Prevention programs would lead to substantial cost savings.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s website lists resources for survivors of sexual violence as well as a summary of relevant campus sexual violence prevention legislation and relevant training materials for university staff and police.

The University of California Office of the President established a systemwide Title IX office in February 2017 with a goal to implement a consistent and coordinated response to complaints of sexual harassment.

To make the office more effective, the state auditors said, it needs to define consistency in the accountability process and provide the office the necessary authority to achieve it.

“The systemwide office should play a central role in…setting policy, analyzing applicable data, and overseeing the campuses,” the audit said.

The report states that although university administrators have been aware of issues with delays in responses to sexual harassment complaints, it must do more to “stop, prevent, and remedy sexual harassment” at its campuses.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
    LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
    Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
    EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit higher education information technology association, awarded former California State University, Northridge Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Hilary J. Baker with its 2020 Community Leadership Award.
    Friday, Sep 25, 2020
    A former Cougar News reporter and College of the Canyons student was arrested in Kentucky Wednesday night while covering the Louisville protests that erupted after a grand jury’s decision not to issue a murder indictment against the officers in the Breonna Taylor case.
    Thursday, Sep 24, 2020
    For Anthony Lawson, a junior at California State University, Northridge majoring in psychology, among the benefits of receiving one of the California State University’s top student honors, is the opportunity it presents to share his family’s story and to remind others that, regardless of the obstacles they face, they have the strength to persevere and succeed.
    Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
    The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., to serve as the eighth chancellor of the California State University.
    Monday, Sep 21, 2020
    A virtual conversation between internationally recognized artist and sculptor Beatriz Cortez, a professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge, and curator Erin Christovale will launch ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system, on Thursday, Sept. 24.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday 39 new deaths and 905 new cases of confirmed COVID-19, with 6,156 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: 269,284 Cases Countywide, 39 New Deaths; 6,156 SCV Cases
    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allow breweries and wineries to resume outdoor operations in one week.
    Breweries, Wineries Can Reopen Outdoors Countywide Next Week
    The largest indoor mall operator in the region, with locations including the Westfield Valencia Town Center, has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over COVID-19 health guidelines that have kept the shopping centers closed.
    Westfield Sues L.A. County Over Indoor Mall Closures
    The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, and coauthored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to begin sharing data about veteran suicides between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Los Angeles County and explore the possibility of establishing a countywide veteran suicide review team.
    L.A. County to Explore Veteran Suicide Review Team
    Each October Circle of Hope recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its annual event, 31 Days of Hope to help increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment of this disease.
    31 Days of Hope to Help Increase Breast Cancer Awareness, Support
    SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Fed up with the growing number of untraceable homemade firearms used in gun crimes and mass shootings, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” that skirt laws requiring background checks and age verification.
    California Sues Feds to Force Crack Down on ‘Ghost Guns’
    Thousands of Southern California Edison customers were suddenly left without power late Tuesday morning in Newhall after balloons came in contact with power lines, according to officials.
    Newhall Power Outage Due to Mylar Balloons
    The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and coauthored by Supervisor Janice Hahn that will enable elementary schools to begin applying for a waiver to reopen grades TK-2 in schools, prioritizing schools with a high number of low-income students.
    Barger Motion to Begin School Waiver Reopening Process Approved by Supes
    While in-person events may be postponed for the time being, the city of Santa Clarita events team is bringing you virtual and physically distanced happenings to fill the void.
    Santa Clarita Arts Calendar Features New Online October Events
    The fast-moving Martindale Fire, which started near Bouquet Reservoir, remained at 230 acres overnight, with firefighters able to achieve 40% containment by Tuesday morning.
    Martindale Fire Remains at 230 Acres, 40% Containment
    EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit higher education information technology association, awarded former California State University, Northridge Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Hilary J. Baker with its 2020 Community Leadership Award.
    Higher Education Nonprofit Recognizes Former CSUN VP for Community Leadership
    The Valley Industry Association will welcome Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth as the Keynote Speaker for the October VIA Virtual Series taking place Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 11:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m.
    Oct. 13: VIA Virtual Series with Mayor Cameron Smyth
    A fatal traffic collision south of the Newhall Pass on Interstate 5 stalled traffic for morning commuters Tuesday.
    Multi-Vehicle Traffic Collision on SB I-5 Leaves One Dead
    A gas main break at Costco in Canyon Country prompted evacuations and road closures Tuesday morning.
    Costco Gas Main Break Prompts Evacuations, Road Closures
    In its 2015 regional annual report, UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes international collaboration in education, science, and culture, listed Mozambique as one of the countries in Africa with the highest incidence of girl marriage.
    Santa Clarita Youth Education Advocate’s Annual Award Brings Hope Across Africa
    1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
    COC
    Smoke from a brush fire dubbed the Martindale Fire in Bouquet Canyon near the Bouquet Reservoir was visible from areas in the Santa Clarita Valley shortly after the blaze broke out Monday afternoon, quickly burning 200 acres and threatening structures.
    ‘Martindale’ Brush Fire in Bouquet Canyon, Visible from SCV, Threatens Strctures
    The global COVID-19 death toll surpassed 1 million Monday afternoon, a grim milestone in a pandemic that caught much of the world unprepared for a health crisis and left economies reeling, convulsed politics and fundamentally altered the world.
    World Marks Grim Milestone: 1 Million COVID-19 Deaths
    SCV Water invites the community to a virtual ribbon-cutting on Monday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m., celebrating the completion of a new water treatment plant.
    Oct. 5: SCV Water Treatment Plant Virtual Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
    Newhall resident Daniel Bradley, a Vietnam veteran and Gold Star son, had the chance to fly to Washington, D.C., to attend a reception at the White House Sunday to honor Gold Star families and their loved ones who’ve died in service.
    Daniel Bradley of Newhall Honored as Gold Star Son at White House
    The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office reports a busy slate of production activity in the Santa Clarita Valley this week, September 28-October 4.
    Busy Slate of Productions This Week in SCV
    The Los Angeles County Health Officer has extended the current extreme heat warning for the Santa Clarita Valley through Saturday evening.
    SCV Extreme Heat Warning Extended Through Saturday
    The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced the launch of a forum for small business owners -- the Small Business Roundtable.
    SCV Chamber to Launch Monthly Roundtable for Small Business Owners
    %d bloggers like this: