UC Berkeley Students Press For Stronger Action On Sexual Assaults
Professor Michele Dauber comments on the need for university campuses to reform sexual assault policies for KQED.
UC Berkeley students have provoked policy reforms and sparked a federal investigation into their university’s handling of sexual assault cases on campus — and they’re still pressing for further change.
They’re part of a growing movement of students at universities across the country, and they’re getting support from Congress and the White House to change discipline practices that they say gloss over allegations, re-traumatize victims and heavily favor the rights of the accused.
That’s part of what motivated Michele Dauber, a Stanford University law professor, to help lead a transformation of her school’s policies in 2010.
“If you have so many reported cases and so few findings of responsibility and disciplinary punishments, then you have an unchecked situation potentially of sexual assault on campus,” Dauber says. “You can’t guarantee the safety of your students.”
“That letter really spurred some people to action,” Dauber says. “Some students who maybe felt that this was wrong but didn’t know that they had rights, and that told them that they did have rights.”