19 sexual assaults have been reported this semester alone at Penn State’s University Park campus. Why such a high number? University officials this week saying it is a difficult question to answer but say President Eric Barron led a virtual town hall meeting on the assault concerns.
Other administrators confirming that they’ve added more personnel and resources to investigate the assaults which bear in terms a complex issue not solely limited to Penn State. While there was a review of the preventative measures the university has taken, the top question for the panel was why the increase in assaults during the current fall semester.
Danny Shaw is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. We are constantly trying to determine is this because we have better and easier reporting mechanisms or because there are more incidents? It’s hard to compare this year with last year’s because COVID did alter the landscape.
“The number of students who were present who were congregating that sort of thing. But we do try to compare it with previous years. And so we’re we’re continuing to try to evaluate why the numbers do seem, I think, somewhat elevated.”
There were also calls for more transparency from the Penn State Administration, along with increasing educational programs about sexual assault.