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UCLA’s sexual assault policies to be reviewed for Title IX compliance

By Daily Bruin

Nov. 18, 2013 3:44 p.m.

This post was updated on Nov. 19 and 4:37 p.m.

UCLA’s sexual assault policies and procedures will soon be under review as part of a state audit of four California universities’ Title IX compliance, University of California officials confirmed Monday.

The audit will examine whether the universities’ handling of cases of sexual assault are in keeping with Title IX, a federal provision that protects students from sex-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funds.

UC Berkeley was the first campus selected for the audit, which was approved by the California state assembly’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee in August upon the request of Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood).

“Sexual harassment and a lack of adequate investigations have been a problem for some time, but I am glad that the audit is finally being implemented,” Rendon said in a telephone interview Monday. “I hope to see a sense of what the individual schools are doing and how best practices can be replicated (across the state) and where problem areas can be resolved.”

The state auditor’s office will also review the sexual assault policies at Cal State Chico and San Diego State University, said Debbie Meador, chief consultant for the Joint Legislative Audit Committee in an emailed statement.

UCLA recently began an internal review to of its policies and practices addressing sexual violence and harassment, according to a university statement released Monday.

“UCLA welcomes a California State Auditor review of our compliance with Title IX requirements,” UCLA officials said in the statement. “UCLA takes seriously its responsibility to educate students, care for victims and properly adjudicate cases involving sexual conduct and crimes.”

Undergraduate Students Association Council Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Badalich said she is excited that UCLA was selected because she has advocated for changes to the university’s sexual assault policies.

Badalich attended an August hearing where legislators approved the audit process. At the meeting she spoke about a sexual assault education, advocacy and research campaign called 7,000 in Solidarity that she launched at UCLA.

“The audit is perfect because it does everything I can’t do,” Badalich said. “It will be long lasting with actual tangible change … after the (7,000 in Solidarity campaign) is over.”

Compiled by Erin Donnelly and Jillian Beck, Bruin senior staff.

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