After months of working on recommendations given by the Husch Blackwell reports and lawmakers, LSU still doesn’t have a full, permanent staff in the office that handles sexual assault allegations and lawmakers are also concerned about the accessibility of LSU’s online sexual assault resources.
Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, asked about previous glitches in the LSU website for reporting cases of sexual assault and violence, questioning how people new to campus could navigate the site, during a Tuesday meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children, Louisiana Illuminator reports.
“I find it not user-friendly,” Mizell said. “It’s almost where you have to have the secret code to get the remedy to the problem.”
In the past, advocates have raised concerns about the content of the site. Inaccurate information on restraining orders was posted for almost six weeks, despite advocacy groups asking for changes to this information. There were also problems with broken links and a lack of resources for sexual assault survivors seeking help.
Jane Cassidy, interim vice president for civil rights and Title IX, said the school has addressed these issues. She blamed previous problems on a lack of staffing. “It was a time when we did not have the flow we have now,” she said.
The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX has eight staff members, up from the two members previously staffing the office, but fewer than in previous plans. Last April, LSU leaders said they planned on hiring 14 to 18 people for the office, which investigates and handles sexual misconduct.
Lawmakers also brought up another issue: the lack of a signed sexual assault agreement between the university and local police. The agreement is meant to ease the sharing of information about sexual assault crimes among law enforcement groups. Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.