State Senator JP Morrell, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary B Committee, is urging and requesting the Board of Regents, in conjunction with management boards of the Louisiana State University, Southern University, University of Louisiana, and Louisiana Community and Technical College systems to prepare a comprehensive written report detailing sexual assault policies, allegations and investigations on Louisiana campuses.
Sen. Morrell’s request comes on the heels of a nationwide survey completed by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. The survey provides a detailed look at variations in policies and customs regarding sexual assault at colleges and universities in the nation. Among many things, the survey reveals that more than 20 percent of schools in the national sample provide no sexual-assault response training for faculty and staff and more than 30 percent provide no training for students; more than 40 percent of those schools have not conducted a single sexual-violence investigation in the past five years; and, more than 40 percent of the largest public schools allow students to help adjudicate sexual-assault cases.
In his letter to leaders of Louisiana’s higher education systems, Senator Morrell requests that the same type of investigation be conducted within Louisiana.
“It is crucial that the Louisiana legislature tackle this issue in our state,” writes Sen. Morrell. “The first step in solving this problem is collecting background data on the issue at hand.”
A copy of the letter, sent to the Board of Regents and University Systems chairs and presidents today, is attached. It will also be available on Sen. Morrell’s legislative website.