When should campuses alert students about a sexual assault?

When officials at San Jose State University in California heard about a pair of sexual assaults last month, the school jumped into action. The suspected rapist was immediately questioned by the police and subsequently ordered to stay away from the two women he was accused of assaulting, moved into off-campus housing, and temporarily suspended.

Still, the university’s actions faced criticism from students when the school failed to send out a safety alert to the campus community. The incident triggered the university to examine how and when it communicates safety threats to its students and ignited a conversation about student safety versus student privacy and how a school can be transparent while conducting a fair investigation into sexual assault allegations. 

“I am determined to do everything possible to ensure that SJSU is a safe, caring, inclusive community,” campus president Mary Papazian, said in an email sent to students, according to the Associated Press. “We will look comprehensively at how to improve communication. I believe it is time to re-examine and consider changes to notification policies.” READ MORE.