Chico State must remain transparent in state audit

Chico State is one of two schools in the California State University system that will be audited on its handling of sexual harassment and sexual violence incidents on and around campus.

The audit was prompted by a federal complaint that UC Berkeley was handling sexual and violent crime investigations and reports incorrectly.

The audit will also include San Diego State, UCLA and UC Berkeley, according to the California State Auditor’s office. The results will be published in April. quinnnnnnnnnnnnn

State officials did not indicate why Chico State and San Diego State were chosen.

Sexual and violent crimes aren’t a rarity on college campuses, and they affect many college students. That’s why Chico State should welcome the increased transparency and oversight that comes with a high-profile audit.

Cooperating with the audit will show that Chico State is willing to make this campus and city safer.

The audit might also  shine a light on the way sexual assaults are reported at Chico State.

This is crucial, given the huge discrepency between sexual assaults that are recorded in Chico State’s annual Clery Report and the number of assaults that affect Chico State students.

There were 109 rapes reported in Chico between 2009 and 2011 and nine on campus during that same time period, according to Chico police statistics and Chico State’s Clery report.

Many of the rapes that occurred throughout Chico probably affected Chico State students, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the university’s Clery Report.

Hopefully the audit will bring increased attention to sexual assault at Chico State, and maybe even suggest ways Chico State can shed light on these crimes and make this university safer.

It’s important to be transparent during the next few months — not only for the audit’s sake, but to show students and prospective students that the university is working toward a safer Chico.


Illustration by Liz Coffee