By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. — The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges changed its policies and practices for handling sexual assaults and protecting minors.
Schools now must report sexual assault complaints to police and an independent advocate will be retained for victims of alleged sexual assault.
A variety of other policy changes were put in place to ensure the safety of minors participating in any university activity and any contact with adults is appropriate.
The task force that recommended the policy changes was started in July when the extent of sexual abuse at Penn State University came to light. The 11-member team evaluated policies and procedures at a variety of universities.
Following multiple complaints of sexual abuse by a student and the subsuquent police investigation and criminal charges, Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis asked the task force to assess the school's handling of the complaints.
The independent investigation determined OSU did not violate its own laws or policies. It resulted in the recommendations regarding reporting assaults to police.