A bill introduced in the California Assembly on Monday would require all colleges in the state to notify the police or sheriff’s department any report of a violent crime, including forcible rape, willful homicide, robbery or aggravated assault, unless the student who filed the report requests otherwise. Newsweek reported that Assemblyman Mike Gatto was inspired to draft the bill because of Occidental College’s failure to report two dozen sexual assault allegations to the federal government, as required by the Clery Act, in 2010 and 2011. Gatto suggested the university was trying to avoid bad PR. While some students report their assaults to both campus and local police, many forgo the former to avoid a grueling investigation process.
California lawmakers are also conducting an audit of four state universities in light of a series of federal complaints – at Occidental, the University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley – filed by students alleging the campuses mishandled complaints of sexual assault.