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Ball State strengthens stand against sex assault

Ball State University adopts stronger policies to deter student sexual misconduct
Posted on July 19, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on July 19, 2014 at 4:35 p.m.

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Ball State University students who engage in cyberstalking or post nude photos on social networking sites could be penalized as part of a sexual assault policy the school is strengthening amid new guidance from the federal government.

The new 32-page code approved by trustees Friday also includes penalties for sexually abusing victims who are drunk or otherwise incapacitated, even if the abusers also are drunk.

“An individual accused of sexual misconduct is not excused if he or she was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other person,” the policy states.

The code includes creation of Sexual Misconduct Board to hear student complaints. Disciplinary action against students found responsible for misconduct can range from probation to suspension or expulsion, The Star Press reports (http://tspne.ws/1nJfv7C ).

Kay Bales, dean of students, told trustees that all university employees including upper management will be trained on preventing, reporting and responding to sexual misconduct.

Indianapolis attorney Rick Hall, chairman of the board of trustees, said they also would like to be trained.

“It takes a lot of effort to create a safe environment,” Hall said.

The move follows new guidance on campus sexual misconduct from the federal government. The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act requires schools to track domestic violence, dating violence and stalking incidents.

The law is part of a national push to protect students from sexual assault. Ball State’s latest Campus Security Report says eight forcible sex offenses were reported on campus and three in non-campus buildings in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights says such incidents are widely under-reported. The office estimates nearly 20 percent of college women will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault.

Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com




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