Pop quiz: should you tell the police if you think someone is responsible for a pattern of sexual assaults?Well, that ain't how they do things down Oklahoma State way.In the past, I've made the point that universities shouldn't be adjudicating sexual assault claims. Both because they're bad at it and because they can't actually take these people off the streets.Now, Oklahoma State has provided an object lesson, by showing how much can go wrong when you let a bunch of amateur investigators pretend to do the jobs of police and courts.Consider what happened at Oklahoma State after five different students reported sexual assaults by the same alleged perpetrator.You would assume that a disciplinary committee at an institution faced with multiple reports of sexual assault by one person might say to themselves, "Gee, the training video we watched didn't really prepare us to do the proper investigation of sexual assault at this scale, so maybe we ought to call police."Surely a bunch of amateurs, with no authority to subpoena, no ability to collect or test forensics--certainly they wouldn't attempt to identify and punish a possible serial attacker, would they?
A committee appointed by Oklahoma State University's Board of StudentPublications recommended Jan.
Editors of The Daily O'Collegian allowedwork from the print edition to return to the newspaper's Web site on Monday,after a dispute regarding the editor in chief's authority over ocolly.com, theonline edition, led staffers in November to begin withholding print content fromthe Web site.
Former editor in chief Jenny Redden of Oklahoma State University's student newspaper, The Daily O'Collegian, always thought of the newspaper and its Web counterpart, ocolly.com, as one and the same.
Students and faculty involved with Oklahoma State University student publications were let off the hook in August after the university attempted to implement a confidentiality agreement that they claimed would have violated their First Amendment rights.
Inwhat a school official has called a “breakdown of communication,” student journalists were told last week that they would not receive theirpaychecks if they refused to sign aconfidentiality agreement thatprohibited the disclosure of certain university information.
Student journalists at Oklahoma State University were eager to write a storyabout rumors that President Bush would speak at their university's springcommencement ceremonies.