SOU Invited to Testify at Senate Hearing on Campus Sexual Assault

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(Ashland, Ore.) — During a year in which sexual assault on college campuses has received a lot of attention nationwide, Southern Oregon University continues to be lauded for the manner in which it handles such reports.

A collaborative relationship between SOU’s Campus Choice program and the Ashland Police Department’s You Have Options program is at the center of the positive attention that the University has received regarding its handling of reported sexual assault on campus.

Angela Fleischer, SOU’s Assistant Director of Student Support and Intervention for Confidential Advising, has been invited to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing. “As you well know, the Ashland program—and the partnership SOU and the Police Department have—are seen as models around the country,” read an email from the office of U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. “We would love to hear your views as to what makes collaboration between schools and law enforcement successful and how the federal government might be able to help incentivize such collaboration,” the email continued.

“It truly is an honor to be invited to testify before a Senate hearing on the issue of campus sexual assault,” Fleischer said. “I’m extremely pleased that the hard work and effort of those of us at SOU and the Ashland Police Department to do what is right has garnered such positive response and results.”

The hearing, “Campus Sexual Assault: the Roles and Responsibilities of Law Enforcement,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.

“I hope that other law enforcement organizations and college campuses will adopt programs like these, offering more options to survivors, and contributing to the safety of both campuses and communities,” Fleischer said.

A bipartisan bill, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, has previously been proposed by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The bill, which was co-sponsored by 17 Senators, was introduced in July and is expected to receive a hearing in early 2015. Among other guidelines, it would increase campus coordination with law enforcement similar to the partnership between SOU and APD.

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.