California universities' sexual assault efforts inadequate, auditor says

A new report from the California State Auditor faulted four universities, including UCLA, over their sexual assault policies.

California's public universities need to do a better job when it comes to handling campus sexual harassment and violence, State Auditor Elaine Howle said.

Four universities - UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal State Chico and San Diego State - were studied in the report requested by the Legislator.

Howle concluded that the universities "have an adequate overall process" for responding to individual incidents, but failed to adequately train athletic coaches, dorm advisers and other staff members on what to do if a student reported being harassed or assaulted.

"By not ensuring that employees are sufficiently trained on responding to and reporting incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, the universities risk having their employees mishandle student reports of the students," the report stated.

The four selected universities were also faulted for failing to keep students who brought complaints informed about the status of their cases.

The audit covered the years 2009 to 2013, a period in which 302 cases were reported to university police.

In a statement, UCLA says the safety and welfare of their students, faculty and staff are top priorities. The schools say they plan to address the report's recommendations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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californiasex abusesex assaultsex crimesUCLAUC BerkeleyLos Angeles
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