Otterbein Changing Sexual Assault Case Policy
Updated: Thursday, May 9 2013, 07:56 PM EDT
WESTERVILLE (Lu Ann Stoia/Ken Hines) -- The efforts of two student journalists have led to a change in the way Otterbein University deals with sexual assault cases.
Senior Chelsea Coleman writes for Otterbein's school newspaper, Tan and Cardinal. She teamed with an editor to research the university's policy on sexual assault report after hearing that other colleges required non-disclosure in such cases, violating a law known as the Clery Act.
Coleman found that Otterbein required victims of sexual assault to sign a statement saying "Privacy must be maintained, and the matter should not be discussed."
Vice President of Student Affairs Bob Gatti said university officials will change the policy, to ensure that victims of assault can speak with counselors about the crimes.
Gatti told ABC 6/FOX 28 the non-disclosure policy was not meant to preserve the university's reputation.
According to Otterbein officials, 2 alleged sexual assaults occurred on the campus in 2012, while none were reported in the previous 2 years. The school sends crime alerts to students and staff members to warn about serious incidents that occur on or near campus.