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CAMPUSES NEED NEW APPROACH TO
DEAL WITH DATE RAPE
GF LEGISLATOR SAYS UNIVERSITIES SHOULD ADOPT TOUGHER POLICIES ON SEXUAL ASSAULT
A Grand Forks representative says North Dakota's colleges and universities have done too little to publicize the dangers of acquaintance rape and lack formal procedures to deal with the problem.
But top administrators with UND and NDSU testified before the Senate Education Committee Tuesday that the schools have extensive policies for handling sexual assaults.
Rep. Amy Kliniske, R-Grand Forks, asserted that there is an alarming rise in rapes by friends or acquaintances on campus, crimes that usually go unreported. Many occur because of drinking. ``It's not an easy issue to deal with, and no university wants to publicize these instances, because that makes it seem like they're unsafe campuses,'' said Rep. Amy Kliniske, R-Grand Forks. ``But we need policies in place, and we need policies that have teeth, not just words.'' Kliniske introduced a resolution urging the state's public and private colleges to help victims of the alleged crimes, develop policies on sexual assault, publicize cases of date rape and include reports of all sexual assaults in their annual crime reports required by federal law. The 1990 Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act requires schools to prepare and release annual crime reports. By Sept. 1, the reports must contain statistics about sex offenses, arrests for 1994 and campus security policies, including those dealing with sexual assault.
Karen and Fred Larson of Bismarck told of a fraternity party at UND where their daughter drank some spiked punch and was raped while unconscious, leading to her pregnancy. She didn't report the crime out of shame and embarrassment. Fred Larson blamed an ``habitual, benign approach'' that allows alcohol at parties and looks the other way when the assaults occur.
UND Dean of Students Lillian Elsinga said campus police are required to have a female administrator present at the hospital if a sexual assault is involved. United Hospital has agreed to provide rape kits, even if the students could not afford the cost, she said. Reports of assaults are posted in residence halls and mail boxes, and the Dakota Student carries information about the crime on Page 1.
Grand Forks Herald, March 15, 1995