sexual abuse

ku.edu

A task force at the University of Kansas is recommending changes in how the school handles sexual assaults and rape on campus.

The suggested changes include requiring all freshmen, including fraternity members, to live in residence halls.

Other suggestions include: creating an on-campus center for sexual assault prevention and education and clarifying that the university can discipline students for sexual violence that occurs off campus if the victim is also a student.

The task force report was released Friday and includes 27 recommendations.

Ira Gelb, flickr Creative Commons

This story originally aired during Morning Edition 4-29-15

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The University of Kansas received nearly twice as many sexual assault complaints last year than in 2013.

The school's Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access says it received 169 complaints last year, compared with 85 in 2013.

The office's Executive Director Jane McQueeny says 120 of the 169 complaints were filed under Title 9; title 9 requires campuses to provide an education environment that is free from sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence.

School officials attribute the increase to improved awareness of sexual assault.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against two men accused of raping two women in a University of Kansas residence hall during homecoming weekend.

The Douglas County prosecutor's office said in a statement that evidence initially suggested a crime occurred.

However, the office said there was no longer sufficient evidence to proceed after more people were interviewed and cell phone and medical records were reviewed.

One former suspect is from Lawrence and the other from Olathe. Police say one of the men is a KU student.

The University of Kansas has ordered two years of probation for the Kappa Sigma fraternity that was the focus of a sexual assault investigation.

Kappa Sigma is barred from having alcohol in its chapter house and must turn over materials to investigators and offer sexual assault prevention training.

KU imposed the sanctions on Wednesday after an investigation into reports that women were sexually assaulted during a gathering at the Kappa Sigma house on September 26th and 27th.

A sexual assault task force at the University of Kansas wants to make it clear that students can be disciplined for sexual misconduct no matter how far from campus it occurred.

KU's Sexual Assault Task Force finished its proposed changes to the student code on Friday.

The main intent of the proposal is to specify that its policies apply to students who commit sexual wrongdoing in places like off-campus apartments and Greek houses.

Task force co-chairwoman Angela Murphy says it also would cover students "on the beach on spring break or even farther away."

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is trying to find out if Kansas has a backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

Officials say that across the country, hundreds of thousands of the kits remain untested.

The KBI recently sent surveys to all Kansas law enforcement agencies to identify if there is a testing backlog for the kits, which include swabs and specimens gathered during exams of sexual assault victims.

The group's director, Kirk Thompson, says the KBI doesn't think there is one, but wants to make sure.

A University of Kansas fraternity that was suspended over sexual assault allegations says it wants the suspension lifted.

Kappa Sigma representatives say the organization is not a danger to the campus and KU's investigation into the allegations is taking too long.

Fraternity representatives will attend a hearing next week to request the suspension be lifted.

Kappa Sigma has been on interim suspension since September 30th, after the university received reports of "multiple instances of sexual misconduct" at the chapter house in late September.

A University of Kansas fraternity is on interim suspension after the school received reports of sexual assault during a party over the weekend.

University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said yesterday that "disturbing and serious" behavior was reported at the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

The Lawrence Police Department and the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access are investigating the allegations.

This suspension comes as the university faces increasing criticism for its handling of previous allegations of rape on the Lawrence campus.

The University of Kansas will create a task force and require training in response to criticism of its handling of sexual assault complaints.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little says that the task force will review the university's current policies and practices and recommend improvements.

In a message on her website, Gray-Little said she wants to ensure that students, faculty and staff take training on the subject and not completing the training will lead to sanctions.

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