Reporting a sexual assault on campus shouldn’t be tied to a short timeline. Students who believe they were the victims of an assault now have up to a year to bring the complaint instead of the 30 days in OU’s former policy.
The change, approved this week, came about when a student who said she was assaulted at a campus fraternity house made the decision to report what happened to campus police. By the time she went to the police department, the 30-day limit had expired.
The sophomore met with OU officials, staged a protest outside the president’s office and rallied others to the cause. Regents approved the change and noted that the state has a 12-year policy for reporting criminal sexual assaults.
The change also adds sexual misconduct to the list of prohibited conducts punishable by suspension or expulsion. An advisory committee, which includes the student victim, will submit proposals for additional policy reforms.
The victim won’t have her attacker prosecuted but other students will benefit from her courage. Her suggestions that incoming freshmen students undergo a mandatory sexual assault program during orientation has merit.