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Sexual Assault on California College Campuses
By Sentinel News Service
Published October 8, 2015

Mike-Gipson
Mike Gipson

Joint oversight hearing on progress toward protecting UC and CSU students

Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), conducted an oversight hearing to update the status of recommendations made in a 2014 report by the State Auditor regarding sexual violence at California Universities. The hearing brought together the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and Select Committee on Campus Climate, chaired respectively by Assemblymember Jose Medina and Assemblymember Shirley Weber.

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“While our universities continue to take measures to improve student safety, recent studies show that 1 in 4 women who attended college in this country were sexually assaulted in one form or another,” states Gipson. “These numbers remain disturbing and unacceptable. I am prepared to continue our efforts in Sacramento to ensure that our higher educational institutions have the tools they need to prevent, respond to, and resolve these incidents efficiently.”

While many of the State Auditor’s recommendations have been fully implemented, others relating to staff training, education, and data collection remain outstanding. The hearing, which took place at California State University at Dominguez Hills, included testimony from legislators, the State Auditor’s office, and student advocates.

“The Higher Education Committee has focused on campus sexual assault problems and during this time, notable progress has been made,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside). “There have been clear improvements in the areas of mandatory orientation for new students and expansion and publication of resources for survivors. But, we have also heard concerns from students and advocates that campuses are focused on compliance, and not necessarily on taking the extra steps needed to protect students. We can and should improve this situation and I will continue to work towards ensuring students have a safe learning environment.”

“The issue of campus sexual assault is one of the top priorities for the California State Student Association (CSSA),” said CSSA president Taylor Herren. “A lot of progress has been made on issues of reporting, training for students, how to support survivors, and ways in which these cases are handled. I look forward to having a conversation at this hearing about how these policy changes are being implemented at the local level and how the legislature, universities, and students can work together to ensure a safe campuses for everyone.”

For more information, or to view the hearing, please visit Assemblymember Gipson’s website at – http://asmdc.org/members/a64/.

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