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Are Universities Like Univ. Of CA Turning a Blind Eye To Women Being Assaulted?

downloadBy: Krystle Crossman

UC Berkeley is going to have a tough legal battle ahead of them. At the end of February 31 students from the campus filed two different federal complaints against the campus. They said that the college has failed to look into, prevent, or discipline many cases of s*xual violence. One student is speaking out and telling her story about how the college failed her when it came to her safety and the safety of the other students on the campus.

Student Sofie Karasek went on an off-campus trip with a student organization from the school. While she was on this trip one of the group leaders who was older than her s*xually assaulted her. When she told someone about the incident she learned that this was not the first time that this had happened with this particular person. One of the other leaders in the student organization pressured him to quit to lessen the chance that he may do it again. The Gender Equality Resource Center was to help with information on what to do at this point and they told them that he should stay in the organization because they can keep a closer eye one him.

One month later another student was assaulted by the same male. Sofie and three other students who said they had been victims as well went to officially report him. Seven months went by and still Sofie heard nothing from the campus regarding the statement she had turned in. When she called to ask about the situation they stated that he was graduating early and that her case had been closed through an early resolution process. All this meant was that he had been put on a probationary period and received some counseling services.

Two and a half years after the assault took place Sofie found that no one at the campus was going to help fix the safety and disciplinary actions as they were handled and so she and eight other student filed the federal complaint against the school. Sofie learned that assault is commonplace among many other colleges and it is also common for nothing to be done about them. She filed a second complaint when the first was not successful. The number of cases had grown to 31 when she filed her second complaint.

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