This summer, college administrators across the state of Louisiana will receive training in new regulations regarding the handling of sexual misconduct claims and implementation of safety measures.
State legislators authored several bills in support of victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and dating violence. This includes SB230, on power-based violence on college and university campuses; and SB 232, which establishes the Louisiana Power-Based Review to oversee whether schools are properly complying with the new requirements. Governor John Bel Edwards expressed his intention to sign these measures into law.
The new measures were enacted after an independent law firm, Husch Blackwell, found that Louisiana State University mishandled multiple claims of sexual misconduct. The report included multiple examples of the university ignoring student complaints of rape, domestic violence, and assault. In March, state lawmakers went so far as to call the mishandling a “slap in the face” of victims.
Following release of the report, the Board of Regents reached out to Louisiana’s public college systems regarding its Title IX policies and their compliance with existing laws.
Holding Administrators and Faculty Members Accountable
Under the new regulations, colleges will be required to fire employees who do not report allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and abuse as is outlined in federal Title IX laws. Employees who knowingly issue false reports will also be fired.
LSU previously made headlines after its former football coach, Les Miles, resigned due to the Husch Blackwell report including allegations of inappropriate behavior with students during his tenure at the university.
In a similar story, Oregon State University President King Alexander resigned after criticism for his inaction on the allegations during his tenure as President of Louisiana State University.