OSU Students 'Shocked' University Is Under Investigation

Thursday, May 1st 2014, 10:31 pm
By: News On 6

We're learning new information about a federal investigation as the White House cracks down on sexual violence.

It published a list of universities being investigated for mishandling sexual abuse complaints, and one of Oklahoma's leading universities is on it.

5/1/2014 Related Story: Oklahoma State Among 55 Schools Investigated For Response To Sexual Abuse Complaints

Statistics say one in five female students is assaulted at college, but it's how universities, like Oklahoma State, handle those matters that's getting the attention of federal investigators.

It's the list no college wants to be on, and the school of the nation's brightest orange is on it. OSU is among 55 universities under investigation for how they handle sexual abuse complaints.

OSU freshman, Luke Janc said, "I was shocked to hear that there were reports that our university has activity like that."

Janc said OSU requires each student to learn about sexual violence, but he never hears of it happening.

"I don't hear anything like that, and word gets around pretty quick," Janc said.

OSU released a statement, saying, "Oklahoma State University is committed to providing the safest campus possible. In the last year, OSU conducted an exhaustive, system-wide review of our policies related to sexual abuse."

We looked into that review, led by a former prosecutor and district judge. It says, "OSU's reportings of sexual assaults did not violate any state or federal laws."

Still, the school is considering five policy changes recommended in the report, including promptly notifying law enforcement of sexual assault allegations.

OSU junior, Caroline Duprey, said, "I just feel like the university could do more."

Duprey was enrolled when OSU came under fire in 2012 for waiting 18 days before telling police about numerous sexual assault allegations involving FarmHouse fraternity.

She said maybe OSU making the list is a good thing.

"Actually, it almost makes me feel a little better because it means something is being done about it. It's not just being swept under the rug," she said.

Sweeping it under the rug is what concerns senior Allison Hilliard.

"If I had something bad happen to me, I would want it to be respected and know that I was being respected, and that it was thoroughly being taken care of," Hilliard said.

A spokesperson said OSU is cooperating with investigators.

Schools that don't handle sexual abuse complaints properly could lose federal funding.

The White House is also encouraging men to speak up if they see a co-ed in danger.