BGSU announces sexual assault task force, students show mixed reactions

BGSU announces sexual assault task force, students show mixed reactions

BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Bowling Green State University announced Monday they will form a task force on sexual assault effective immediately.

This came after students held a protest Friday in response to a post on Facebook about how they handled a student's sexual assault case.

The task force is made up of students, faculty, staff and victim advocates. They were tasked to review the university's policies and procedures, provide recommendations and improve BGSU's campus culture.

BGSU President Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey said in an open letter:

I greatly appreciate the concerns you have shared over the past week regarding the issue of sexual assault on campus, support services for victims and the processes we have in place today to report and investigate assaults. I want you to know that I hear your concerns, and I, along with others, will address them.

Freshman Chelsea Halm says she believes the task force was created because she spoke out on Facebook about her assault. She says the university let her down and hopes they won't for the next victim.

"I'm hoping that for future victims that end up having to go through the same things that I did, hopefully they will get the justice they need," Halm said. "They won't be victim blamed, and they'll get the courage to speak out."

Students say they found out about the task force on sexual assault from a campus-wide email, but they have different opinions on what this could mean in the future.

Some students showed skepticism.

"It seems to me like they are more focused on their image right now than actually like taking care of the student and everything that happened to her. And the fact that she was barely 18-years-old, I mean this happened on her birthday," said Emma Leader, a sophomore at BGSU. "It doesn't seem productive to me to organize something like this because it just seems like a cover-up."

Others were happy the university is finally taking action.

"I'm happy they are doing something because last week or whatever they sent out an email and it basically just said yeah it happened," said Alexandra Bishop, a sophomore at BGSU. "It didn't really say anything about any action, but it's good that they are taking some sort of action and actually trying to do something about it."

Students say they hope the task force is more compassionate in the future, creates a better process for victims and has a more thorough investigation.

Halm says she did try to report her incident to the Bowling Green Police, who told her she should speak with campus police.

She said she has since spoken with them to begin an investigation in hopes of getting justice.

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