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<b>STRATEGIZING:</b>  Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education, visited UCSB last week to discuss efforts to combat sexual violence.

Courtesy UCSB Public Affairs

STRATEGIZING: Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education, visited UCSB last week to discuss efforts to combat sexual violence.


Crime on Campus

Feds Shine Light on College Rapes


Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Sexual violence on college campuses jumped into the national spotlight last week as the executive office reminded Americans that the issue is an epidemic. The matter is two-tiered ​— ​prevention and response to assaults ​— ​and so prevalent that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden created a task force to protect students, which will mandate campus climate surveys, establish new policies that better embody victims’ rights, and create a multipurpose website ​— ​notalone.gov ​— ​to publicize information.

“Schools have a lot of work to do,” said Jill Dunlap, director of UCSB CARE (Campus Advocacy Resources and Education). “But it’s a task they are taking seriously and want to get right.” Last week, Dunlap arranged a visit from the person leading efforts at the national level. Catherine Lhamon, U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary for civil rights, is currently touring 14 universities, including UCSB, which received a $300,000 federal grant. The money funds a CARE full-time victims’ advocate, a half-time coordinator, and awareness campaigns.

What’s causing greater concern in higher education are accusations from students across the country that university administrators have swept sexual-assault cases under the rug. The feds promised to investigate 55 universities for alleged inadequate responses. To receive federal funding, universities must uphold Title IX, a law that prohibits gender discrimination and addresses ending rape and sexual harassment on campuses.

But the national discussion has questioned the extent to which universities are even equipped to handle serious criminal cases like sexual assault. “I think schools in general have hoped that they didn’t have to go there,” said District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “They need to get more training about violence in general, [including] sexual violence.”

At UCSB — which was not one of the 55 schools named — very few forcible rapes are noted each year in the campus’s security report, and recent Sheriff’s department reports show approximately 20 sexual assaults annually in Isla Vista. But last year, CARE saw 84 sexual assault cases, excluding stalking or domestic-violence incidents. Dunlap explained several reasons for this discrepancy: Her office is confidential, it includes incidents off campus, and there is often lag time in reporting.

Judicial Affairs sees more than 100 cases each year ​— ​ranging from academic issues like plagiarism to serious crimes like assault — and 16 involved sexual assault in 2012-2013, said Director Stephan Franklin. Judicial Affairs is staffed by seven employees and is intended to provide a “sub-criminal” option separate from the superior courts for students who choose not to go to the police.

Victims who report sexual assault to the university are not encouraged or discouraged from reporting the incident to the police. It is presented as a mid-range option to students, i.e., for those who do not want to go to law enforcement. (Judicial Affairs does not refer cases to the District Attorney’s Office). In her experience, Dunlap explained, students often opt to report to Judicial Affairs because it’s less intimidating than a formal court process and offers a variety of outcomes.

For UCSB senior Myra Crimmel, Judicial Affairs imposed its maximum punishment on the man she accused of raping her: He is suspended from school for two quarters and will be on probation when he returns to campus in the fall. But she argued the system is broken. “They just can’t deal with this level of crime,” asserted Crimmel, who sent a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano, arguing the process was delayed, lacked written documentation and transparency, and failed to offer legal guidance. Franklin said he couldn’t comment on individual proceedings, but UCSB spokesperson George Foulsham confirmed a UC Office of the President official will be reviewing the case.

In February, the issue of sexual assault received national attention at UCSB when a brutal gang rape shook the campus community. Chancellor Henry Yang promised five new officers and installed two large surveillance cameras near Isla Vista Theater. Take Back the Night rallied, and the news outlets spread the story. The survivor was the “perfect victim” ​— ​she didn’t know the perpetrators, called the police, and immediately provided evidence via a rape kit. But not all rape cases are quite as linear or generate as much attention. Throw in drugs, alcohol, and a party-culture reputation, and a seemingly black-and-white issue becomes gray. More than 40 percent of sexual assaults involve drugs and alcohol, and 85 percent involve people who know each other.

But activists contend alcohol and drugs should not dominate discussions. “Student party context should not be used to increase the burden of proof,” said UCSB English professor Chris Newfield. “The dialogue can begin to improve things. … The White House accelerated the process.”

Comments

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Here's the clincher though: THE CRIMES AREN'T ON CAMPUS. They're in IV, well, except for the girl that was beaten and raped by the 2 Asian guys, that happened on campus, but all others (stabbings, assaults, rapes, rioting), ISLA VISTA.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 9:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Blah's correct, campus is actually the safest place.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, the ONLY incidents I ever remember on campus (aside from the woowoo debacle) was back in 1990, a homeless guy that went by "Snake" who was a Greek mythology grad student & TA got aggro with a professor in class and had to be escorted off campus.
There was recently another grad student, also Greek Mythology, who was off his meds and got a little aggro thus getting him expelled from campus.
Back in 19992 or 93 there was an incident of an engineering grad student who punched out a guy in the campus dorms because the punchee switched the channel on the dorm t.v. It happened that the punchee was Asian, the puncher was AWG (Average White Guy) and the whole thing got turned into a pc battle.
Back in 1999 or 2000 UCPD made an arrest and removal on campus of a guy that was wanted on numerous charges (some violent) who was in the dorms, the Nexus got a picture of the guy they put on the cover, he happened to be Black and a pc issue was made of that as well.
In all, campus is more than likely THE safest place, but the recent beating and rape of that girl by the 2 Asian guys shows the need for vigilance.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This type of violence does happen.. but if it did happen with the frequency stated by most of these studies...why would anyone send their daughters off to school??

One thing for sure... allowing the definition of " rape" and "sexual crime" to be so loosely interpeted.. if I was a guy going to any college or university.. I would travel with a friend or group so I could never be named as an attacker by a jilted ex-gf or hook-up..

Its these young men that now need to be protected from some of the crazy girls Ive seen around town.. piss one of them off and its over for you!!

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 3:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Plenty of crime on the UCSB campus…
http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/CMSMedia/Docum...

http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/CMSMedia/Docum...

More forcible sex offenses on the UCSB campus than on any other public campus with 20,000-30,000 enrollment in California… even Berkeley & UCLA, which have bigger enrollment, are in the UCSB ballpark…

http://www.ope.ed.gov/security/GetOne...

MrsDoverSharp (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 10:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There's no stats for excessively large signage.. ;)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 10:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

MrsDoverSharp & Sealion, you guys bring up some interesting & odd stuff, but there was something said by Sealion that I can maybe explain:

"But hysterical gender bigots (like Hannah Beth Jackson) are calling for 30 more full time Gaucho cops to sleep away their time chasing imaginary (female) rape victims on the public dime."

Yes, she may be calling for more UCPD cops, but in all reality, at UCSB it more than likely is to put more boots on the ground in IV. She may be sugarcoating it as what you claim, but if that's the case it is solely to appease the "useless but highly paid feminist apparatchiks."
IV is in effect governed by UCSB, therefore they need to supplement IV Foot Patrol since it IS their constituency (as well as SBCC's) that is a) populating that town & b) are the cause of the majority (90% at least) of the problems.
It would only be right for the UC system to help stabilize the mess they've made of that town, especially after the douchtopia debacle.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The "Male Matters" article is one of the most hysterical, comparing everything with anything in a false equivalency manner I have ever read. If many women are graduating, what does that have to do with rape statistics? Many women who have had terrible experiences with rape, have been able to work and live life despite the harm done, as others have been able to do despite terrible experiences in other regards, such as childhood abuse.

A better, more balanced view can be read here:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/04/opinion...

Rape is a world-wide problem. Period. Why do you think women in ME countries have to cover themselves head-to-foot in black cloth. It is a huge problem in the US military with both male and female victims. It is a rampant problem in South Africa. It is a root cause for human trafficking throughout the world, regardless of culture. What is one of the first things that men do in war when conquering another country - rape the women. The evidence and statistics are there.

As a woman, fortunately, it has not happened to me, but I have fended off some attempts. I do agree that woman should be taught to avoid circumstances where the probability increases.

But to say it does not happen or happens rarely on campuses, is blind ignorance. Most rapes go unreported. As the article at the link states:

"By the time I graduated, in 2009, two of my close friends and one of my former roommates had been sexually assaulted during our four years on campus, and I had watched another friend go through the labyrinthine and largely ineffective student disciplinary process in an attempt to see her rapist held accountable."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/04/opinion...

Rape happens - worldwide - no matter the culture or color of skin. Women should be taught to avoid situations where it can happen. When hormones are raging in later teen and early twenties, it may be difficult to control, but controlled it should be. But there are situations where control is impossible - as in the military when women take late night visits to the bathroom, where many rapes did occur.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 6:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The problem with campus kangaroo courts getting involved in these things at all is twofold.

First, they are heavily biased towards a finding of guilt. Representation by counsel is extremely limited. No rules of evidence as in a traditional courtroom. No subpoena power to bring in witnesses. No right to confront one's accuser. It boils down to he-said-she-said with a strong bias toward she-said. So for the guy accused of rape when it is really a case of regret or drunken mistaken identity, you're guilty until proven innocent.

Second, they trivialize rape to the point of being a campus infraction like littering or throwing spitballs in class. Because these aren't real trials, their punishment is essentially limited to expulsion at the very worst. Rapists belong in prison, not just suspended from class. By using these so-called "trials" instead of going to the police, rape victims send a message to potential rapists that the worst they're going to get is kicked out of school.

This isn't the message that should be sent to the community. If horny young males get the idea that pushing the limit of consent gets you ten years in an orange jumpsuit, things are going to change in a hurry. As it now stands, victims who choose the kangaroo court instead of the police send the message that violent sexual assault is in the same category as getting caught with crib notes on a midterm.

Abolish these ridiculous "committee" trials for real crimes. Use them for campus infractions. Let law enforcement deal with felonies.

As for the victim in this case, if you want real law enforcement, call the real cops.

bugmenot123 (anonymous profile)
September 15, 2014 at 3:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What if the victim is male?

Rape is against the law, let the cops deal with it. When you are raped, call the cops. If you can't get justice in the legal system, then the effort to obtain justice must be aimed at the legal system.

This is like the problem of violence among NFL players: The issue should be "How should the NFL deal with this?" but rather "Why isn't this guy in prison?"

Enforce the laws on the books.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
September 16, 2014 at 12:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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