Setting Standards

Setting Standards

Texas public universities could soon be required to set up their own policies and punishments when it comes to campus sexual assaults. April is sexual awareness month. On Tuesday Texas House lawmakers passed a bill that would require universities to set their own rules regarding sexual assault.

Midwestern State University, said that the school has rules and policies in place to deal with any sexual act on campus.

"There are really several things one is the criminal investigation if the victim wants to pursue criminal charges, then of course the police department handles that aspect of the investigation," said MSU Police Chief Dan Williams.

Though he did not have the numbers in front of him Williams said there have been a reported 10-12 cases that have happened on campus over the last five years. However, students like Aaron Mckinzie think that the numbers are likely a lot higher.

"I think that the numbers are going to be different because there is this gray line going through sexual harassment and sexual assault," said Mckinzie.

Because of that "gray line," Williams feels that some people may not report the assault because of other factors involved, one of them being alcohol.

"For some people, being drunk and having sex is them giving consent where as other people believe that having sex while drunk is not giving consent," said Mckinzie.

There were other students like Bethany Summerlin who said that she feels the numbers may be higher, but her fear of becoming a victim is relatively low.

"I don't walk down worrying about things happening, it does not bother me, I'm not worried," said Summerlin.

Though she may not worry about becoming a victim herself Summerlin said that there could be more people not coming forward because of fear they don't want people to know they we're an assault victim. Williams said the university does have policies that protect the identity of any student or staff member who may be a victim of sexual assault.

The bill will now head to the Texas Senate. There is an added provision that would require each public university to create and maintain a web page that displays the schools sexual assault policy.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6